Once again, Newt Gingrich has pulled out his shotgun, and turned it on his own foot. He’s been doing well, saying all the right things, smartly countering the Media’s snarky questions, defending America’s values, being decent to the other Republican Presidential candidates, when……. he boldly embarks on this bit of immigration toolness:
If you’re here — if you’ve come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. period. If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.
I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them.
I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have very severe penalties for employers, but I would urge all of you to look at the Krieble Foundation Plan.
I don’t see how the — the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.
This is leaving him open to all sorts of comments, like Michele Bachmann saying,
If I understood correctly, I think the speaker just said that that would make 11 people — 11 million people who are here illegally now legal. That’s really the issue that we’re dealing with. And also, it would be the DREAM Act, the federal DREAM Act, which would offer taxpayer-subsidized benefits to illegal aliens. We need to move away from magnets, not offer more.
And from Romney:
Look, amnesty is a magnet.
“But he didn’t go on to describe the people who have been here 20 years. How about 12 years, 10, five, three. How many children do you have to have to apply this principle,” Romney continued. “He didn’t describe that. The real issue is are we going to spend our time talking about how extensively we have amnesty.”
Inquiring Minds Want To Know: just how many illegal immigrants have been here 25 years, paying taxes, raising families, and obeying the law (with the slight! omission of the immigration laws…!!!) ? Is the number greater than……. 5000? Yeah, perhaps we can craft an exception for them…
I looked up the Kreibel Foundation Plan – they want a Red Card (instead of the Green Card) program that is remarkable like the system already employed to bring Jamaicans to the U.S. for the fruit harvests (they start in Georgia, and move up the coast as the season progresses, ending in New York for the apple harvest. Then they RETURN HOME for the winter.) It appears that the Kreibel plan involves letting the foreigners stay here throughout the year, but makes them CLEARLY not eligible for citizenship.
There would be American employment firms opening offices in foreign countries to set up the hiring, which is already done. But the process for the Red Card is supposed to be simpler and easier than the present ‘guest worker’ program….. hmm. Wonder how well THAT will work….!
Newt’s problem? He is emphasizing the compassion towards the illegal immigrants. We’ve seen the results of Compassionate Conservatism, and the Amnesty of the ’80’s simply became a huge magnet attracting more immigrants! Compassionate Conservatism became a neon sign that points out RINOs.
Today’s lesson: Newt has a distinct history of making a strong showing….. and then does something so horribly wrong, that no one wants him anymore. Remember him sitting on a couch with Pelosi, saying we need to take a good look at the imminent dangers of Global Warming…?!?!?!?
UPDATE: Apparently, Newt’s spokesperson has clarified:
“Newt is for a local, community review board where local citizens can decide whether or not their neighbors that have come here illegally should find a path to legality, not citizenship.”
So, it’s not perfectly clear yet, but it’s looking more like a “resident/not citizenship” permit, with a local review board process… Not sure how that would work out – probably with a lot of cries of “Discrimination!!!” …