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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pope Francis backs up Jeb Bush's 'act of love' comment about immigrants

Pope Francis appears before Congress on Thursday

The Associated Press

Pope Francis appears before Congress on Thursday



Pope Francis made a passionate call Thursday for lawmakers to address immigration with compassion and understanding. And in doing so he mirrored Jeb Bush’s “act of love” sentiment.

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War,” the pope told a joint meeting of Congress. “This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions.

"On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.

“To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ ”

This is what Bush said way back in 2014 - rendering “act of love” into an attack line from his detractors on the right:

“Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."

In his 2012 memoir, Marco Rubio said something similar. "If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here."

[Last modified: Friday, September 25, 2015 7:49am]


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