Newt Gingrich on Immigration
Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House
A: Yes, on immigration--Newt is the odd man out from Romney, Paul, and Santorum calling for deportation and cutting benefits. Newt says local boards should decide (they'll decide no!); and people with ties to their community can stay (almost anyone can demonstrate that!). See the details on immigration and numerous other related issues in a side-by-side comparison:
side-by-side on International Issues
GINGRICH: He's not wrong. They'd have to have two 35-foot ladders because it's a double fence. Look, the fact is I helped Duncan Hunter pass the first fence bill in San Diego when I was Speaker of the House. It turned out it worked. It worked dramatically. However, it stopped. The further we have gone with the fence, the fewer the people have broken into California. I would finish the job by January 1, 2014, I would initiate a bill that would waive all federal regulations, requirement and studies. I would ask Gov. Brewer, Gov. Martinez, Gov. Brown, and Gov. Perry to become the co-leaders in their state. We would apply as many resources as are needed to be done by Jan. 1, 2014, including moving half of the 23,000 DHS personnel from the DC area to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. This is a doable thing.
GINGRICH: First of all, you should control the border, which I have pledged to do by January 1, 2014. You should also make deportation easier so when you deport people who shouldn't be here. I actually agree that self-deportation will occur if you're single. If you've only been here a short time. And there are millions of people who faced with that, would go back home, file for a guest worker program and might or might not come back. People who have been here a very long time who are married, who may well have children and grandchildren. And I would just suggest that grandmothers or grandfathers aren't likely to self-deport. I offered a proposal, a citizen panel to review whether or not somebody who had been here a very long time, who had family and who had an American family willing to sponsor them, should be allowed to get residency, but not citizenship.
ROMNEY: [to Gingrich]: Did you say that?
GINGRICH: No. What I said was, we want everybody to learn English. I didn't use the word "Spanish." We do not want anyone trapped in a situation where they cannot get a job, they cannot rise.
Q: Governor, that ad quoted you as saying that Speaker Gingrich called Spanish "the language of the ghetto"--we just double- checked.
ROMNEY: Let me ask the speaker a question. Did you say what the ad says or not?
GINGRICH: It's taken totally out of context.
ROMNEY: Oh, OK, he said it.
GINGRICH: No. I did not say it about Spanish. I said, in general, about all languages. We are better for children to learn English in general, period.
Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich on International Issues
GINGRICH: Let me start and just say I think that we ought to have an H-1 visa that goes with every graduate degree in math, science and engineering so that people stay here. I did vote for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. I believe ultimately you have to find some system that reviews the people who are here. If you've come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. 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.
GINGRICH: First of all, in the DREAM Act, the one part that I like is the one which allows people who came here with their parents to join the US military, which they could have done if they were back home, and if they serve on it with the US military to acquire citizenship, which is something any foreigner can do. And I don't see any reason to punish somebody who came here at three years of age, but who wants to serve the United States of America. I specifically did not say we'd make the 11 million people legal. If you find people who have been here 25 years and have two generations of family and have been paying taxes and are in a local church, as somebody who believes strongly in family, you'll have a hard time explaining why that particular subset is being broken up and forced to leave.
GINGRICH: Well, let me say, first of all, I think we would be better off to outsource E-Verify to American Express, MasterCard or Visa, because they actually know how to run a program like that without massive fraud. Second, the program should be as easy as swiping your credit card when you buy gasoline. And so I would ask of employers, what is it you would object to in helping the US in dealing with the problem involving illegal immigration?
Q: Would you support each state enforcing the immigration laws since the federal government is not?
GINGRICH: I strongly favor 100% control of the border, and I strongly favor English as the official language of government. I favor modernizing the legal visa system. We have a terribly antiquated legal system while our border is too open for people who are illegal.
GINGRICH: I think we have to find a way to get to a country in which everybody who's here is here legally. But you referenced Pres. Reagan. In 1986, I voted for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which in fact did grant some amnesty in return for promises. Pres. Reagan wrote in his diary that year that he signed the act because we were going to control the border and we were going to have an employer program where it was a legal guest worker program. That's in his diary. I'm with Pres. Reagan. We ought to control the border, we ought to have a legal guest worker program. We ought to outsource it, frankly, to American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, so there's no counterfeiting, which there will be with the federal government. We should be very tough on employers once you have that legal program.
A: I think it's very important to go back and look at how the Selective Service Commission worked in World War II, because it was local, practical decision-making, and people genuinely thought it was fair and it was reasonable.
Q: What about Pres. Obama's joke about protecting the borders wit alligators and a moat?
A: That was the perfect symbol of his failure as a leader. He failed to get any immigration reform through when he controlled the Senate. He could ram through Obamacare, but he couldn't deal with immigration. I would be prepared to take as many people from Homeland Security's bureaucracy in Washington and move them to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, as are needed, to control the border. And we should have English as the official language of government.
CAIN: I don't believe so. But let's look at solving the real problem, OK? #1, get serious about securing our borders. #2, enforce the laws that are already there. #3, promote a path to citizenship by cleaning up the bureaucracy.
GINGRICH: Herman Cain's essentially right, you break it down. First of all, you control the border. We can ask the National Guard to go to Iraq. We ask the National Guard to go to Afghanistan. Somehow we would have done more for American security if we had had the National Guard on the border. If you don't want to use the National Guard, take half of the current Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy in Washington, transplant it to Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. You'll have more than enough people to control the border.
Unfortunately, the Washington elites have agreed on a definition of success that is infuriating to the average American. The elites on the left oppose border control, oppose English as the official government language, oppose expanding legal immigration, and want to find a way to allow everyone here illegally to stay, all while prohibiting illegal immigration in the future. The country is convinced that this so-called solution is incompatible with American values and will weaken America's future.
In trying to force their left-wing solution on a country that rejects it, the elite have resorted to describing their critics as racist, xenophobic, unrealistic, and much worse. Those attacks are merely a sign of the elites' desperation.
Most Americans understand the irrationality of intense security at airports and lax security at the borders. This requires the terrorist to be dumb enough that he insists on flying into the United States when he could simply ride a truck or walk into the country unimpeded. The refusal to control the border has been one of the most infuriating aspects of modern government, and one of the most inexcusable.
The American people want reform that establishes English as the official language of government, reform that controls the borders, reform that doesn't reward illegality, reform that enforces penalties on employers.
We need a guest worker program to ensure that guest workers pay taxes, get driverís licenses, buy auto insurance, abide by the law, and that filters out criminals and potential terrorists. The program should not be an automatic qualification for citizenship, though eventual citizenship should be held out as an opportunity.
"From 1607 until 1965 you have certain long sweeps that are more and more positive. We go from slavery to segregation to integration. We go from empowering wealthy white males to eliminating the poll tax and then giving women the vote, then making sure everybody can vote. We go from almost the very beginning to acquire property. Free blacks as early as the 1740s could acquire property."
Gingrich goes on to enumerate America's past hostility toward the Irish, Southern Europeans, and the Chinese. These immigrants' ability to overcome bigotry and succeed while so many black Americans languish is the prelude to the congressman's call for dismantling the welfare system.
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