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Jeb Bush: U.S. economy needs immigrants because they’re ‘more fertile’

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) argued Wednesday that the United States should pass immigration reform because the U.S. economy needs the labor of young immigrants, and immigrants are "more fertile."

"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans," Bush said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to the Majority conference. "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

Bush said immigrants are an advantage that the United States has over China, Europe and Japan, which don't have the same immigrant tradition and are struggling to find young laborers.

"If we don’t do it, we will be in decline, because the productivity of this country is dependent upon young people that are equipped to be able to work hard," Bush said.

Bush, whose wife is a Mexican-born immigrant, has long been an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

A Census report released Thursday showed that, for the first time, white deaths in the United States outnumbered white births. Population grew because of growth among Hispanics, African-Americans and immigrants.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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