This is what Jeff Flake wrote on his Facebook page:
A few weeks ago, Jeb Bush made a statement that has garnered a great deal of attention. He noted that for some illegal immigrants, crossing the border could be considered an “act of love” because it was motivated by a desire to feed and care for their families.
I’ve been asked what I think of this statement. Truth is, I agree with Jeb, and I applaud him for having the guts to say it. Growing up here in Arizona, I’ve seen what motivates those who come here illegally. Sure, some come with the intent to do harm or simply to take advantage of our generosity. But many come to find work to feed their families. To lump everyone who crosses the border illegally into the same class is unfair and unproductive.
Recognizing motivations does not change the fact that we need a secure border. We need to give employers the tools to determine who is here illegally and who is not. We need more robust temporary worker programs that account for our labor needs. We need to reform our legal immigration program to better reflect our economic needs going forward, and we need a mechanism to deal with those who are already here illegally in a rational manner.
I hold no brief for Jeb Bush, but having such a prominent Republican speak so humanely and unapologetically about the motivations behind many of those who have come to reside in this country is good for all of us.