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Old 03-08-2015
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Default Jeb Bush takes immigration argument to Iowa

Jeb Bush in Iowa today continued to stand by his call for immigration reform, pitching tough-love approach that would result in "legalized status."

"Imigrants that are here need to have a path to legalized status," Bush said at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, which featured other Republican presidential contenders. "No one I know has a plan to deal with illegal immigrants to say they're going to be rounded up and taken away."

He did not mention citizenship, which arouses more opposition, and played up the penalties. "What we need to do is make sure people pay fines," Bush said. "That they learn English. That they work. That they don't receive government assistance. That they earn legalized status over the long haul. That they come out from of the shadows and can be productive with a provisional work permit. This is the only serious, thoughtful way to deal with this and we better start doing it because this is a competitive world."

Bush is making his first trip to Iowa and has fundraising as well as the obligatory stop at a Pizza Ranch, restaurants that have become must-stop destinations on the campaign trail.

During the Ag Summit, Bush also called for a phasing out of the renewable fuel standard, which has helped Iowa's ethonol industry and businessmen such as Bruce Rastetter, the major GOP donor who organized the gathering. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said he "absolutely" supports the standard.

According to the Des Moines Register, "Bush got cheers and applause from the crowd when he turned a question about country-of-origin labeling into a description of his plans for Sunday when he returns home to Florida."

"When I got Publix in Coral Gables, which I'll do tomorrow morning after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday at my house, I'll be cooking Iowa beef and I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from, and I want to know where the onions from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it, so I like the country of origin labeling," he said.

Bush's Right to Rise PAC also added its first Iowa staffer, Annie Kelly, who works with FP1 Strategies. Her bio lists stints with the NRCC and on the campaign of Iowa Rep. Tom Latham.

Bush has also brought on evangelical leader Jordan Sekulow.
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