What About Newt On Illegal Immigration? (Q&A Friday #111)

Question: “How can you support Gingrich given that he will institute some kind of mass amnesty? Giving citizenship to illegal immigrants is the quickest way to ensure that conservatives never win another election.” — David

Answer: If you’ve been reading Right Wing News for a few years, you know that my position is that I oppose illegals getting any sort of benefit from their illegal activities. So, I don’t agree with Newt (And Mitt, who has the same position if you listen to him closely enough) when they say illegals who have been breaking the law long enough should be allowed to stay.

But, I do agree with about 95% of Newt’s plan.

Essentially, what he’s saying is…

1) We build the fence and secure the border, so that very few illegals can get across.
2) Have Visa/Mastercard do an E-verify type system along with an expanded guest worker program
3) Make it easier for legal immigrants to come here, make it easier for high skill foreigners to become citizens, make English the official language, dramatically increase the penalties for businesses hiring illegally, allow illegals who join the military to become citizens, and make it much easier to deport illegals.
4) Then after all that’s done, he’s talking about allowing individual communities to allow illegals who have been here for 25 years to stay here legally, but not become citizens.

I’m leery of expanding the guest worker program, but I do think that would at least be a political hot potato in times where the country has a high jobless rate — so in practice, that wouldn’t be so bad. As to #4) I’m opposed to it, but at the end of the day, if #1 – #3 were done first, I wouldn’t make perfect the enemy of the good. If we secure the border, prevent illegals from getting jobs, and prevent any illegals that are here from becoming citizens, we’ve taken care of all the key issues and fixed the long term problem in a way that wouldn’t be detrimental to the country.

Moreover, let me just add that in truth, there’s really not two dimes’ worth of difference between the position of any of the candidates left in the race on illegal immigration, other than maybe Ron Paul, who opposes building a fence. So, the real question is, “Who do you believe will do it, as opposed to just talking about it?” I believe Newt would do it. I believe Romney’s all talk and if he gets elected, we’ll be in just about the same place in four years that we are today.

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