Bush stands by immigration plan (and Trump criticism)

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting on July 27, 2015, in Longwood, Fla. (John Raoux, AP)

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting on July 27, 2015, in Longwood, Fla. (John Raoux, AP)

Granting an interview in Spanish, Jeb Bush is standing behind an immigration plan that would grant legal status to migrants who are currently in the country illegally.

“We can have an immigration reform that will solve the problem for 11 million people who are undocumented and living in the shadows,” Bush said in Spanish during the interview with Telemundo.

Bush said his plan calls for better security at the border, seeking to make sure that it is easier to enter the country legally than illegally. The government must also address the problem of people who overstay their visas, the former governor of Florida said.

Beyond that, Bush said, a new system should allow undocumented people the chance to qualify for status.

“They get a work permit, they pay taxes naturally, they pay (a) small fine they, learn English,” Bush said. “They don’t get benefits from the federal government, but they come out of the shadows. And they obtain a legal status.”

Bush’s critics in the Republican presidential race liken his plan to amnesty for lawbreakers, and immigration figures to be a big issue in upcoming GOP contests.

Among the critics: Donald Trump, who is now leading Republican polls

Trump has accused Mexico of sending criminals, drug traffickers and rapists across the border, claims that Bush again criticized in his Telemundo interview.

“I was hurt, hearing somebody speaking in such a vulgar fashion,” Bush said in the Spanish language interview. “This makes the solving of this problem much more difficult when we have politicians talking like that.”