Washington, Feb 5: Jeb Bush, a top Republican presidential aspirant, today called for fixing of the US immigration system to boost economy and advocated the need to welcome guest workers and highly skilled individuals, a move likely to benefit techies from countries like India.
In a major speech on his economic policies, Bush, the former Florida Governor, called immigration a unique facet of the US and one that Americans should embrace. "Immigration's not a problem. While the political fights are going on we're missing this opportunity," he said.
That opportunity is to fix the immigration system in order to boost the economy by welcoming guest workers and highly-skilled individuals, for example, said Bush, who is the son and a brother of two former US presidents - H W Bush and George W Bush.
"The American experience works when people embrace a set of shared values. You come, you work hard, you embrace these values and you're as American as anybody that came on the Mayflower," Bush said.
In his first major policy speech after announcing his intention to run for the 2016 elections, Bush said the "opportunity gap" between the wealthy and those less well-off was "the defining issue of our time".
In his speech in Detroit, the Republican leader offered broad outlines of policy solutions to achieve the goal of a four per cent economic growth. Bush said the economic recovery is too little and too late. A persistent "opportunity gap" is a threat to future growth, he said.
"The American dream has become a mirage for too many," he said as he criticised US President Barack Obama for his welfare programmes and taxes, arguing that this would not give Americans a better future. When asked about being from the Bush family, he said having a brother and father who served as President gave him a front-row seat to history but that there were obvious challenges associated with those relationships.
However, he did not try to distance himself from them, saying that his father is "the greatest man alive" and that his brother was "a great president".