So I think you've got to deal with this as a comprehensive approach that starts with controlling the border, as the governor said. I believe ultimately you have to find some system -- once you've put every piece in place, which includes the guest worker program, you need something like a World War II Selective Service Board that, frankly, reviews the people who are here.
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.
The Creeble Foundation is a very good red card program that says you get to be legal, but you don't get a pass to citizenship. And so there's a way to ultimately end up with a country where there's no more illegality, but you haven't automatically given amnesty to anyone.
So the North Podunk Town Meeting could vote to deny you your Green Card but ten miles down the road the burghers of South Podunk could vote to give one to your cousin? That sure sounds like a plan.And why should this be the problem of the folks in South Podunk, anyway? Maybe Newt hasn't thought that one through.
It’s a tribute to Mitt Romney’s soporific caution and Herman Cain’s blithe indifference to the bit on the map marked Rest of the World that Newt is now what passes for the GOP’s deep thinker.
And is Newt offering amnesty as Bachmann claims...:
Well, I don't agree that you would make 11 million workers legal, because that, in effect, is amnesty. And I also don't agree that you would give the DREAM Act on a federal level. And those are two things that I believe that the speaker had been for, and he can speak for himself.
I don't think Newt is offering amnesty to all. He said, "there's a way to ultimately end up with a country where there's no more illegality, but you haven't automatically given amnesty to anyone."
Andrew McCarthy says Newt is just offering "common sense":
All he said was, “Let’s be humane in enforcing the law.” That was my reaction last night when Newt Gingrich argued that the federal government should refrain from deporting illegal immigrants who had been in the U.S. for many years if the effect would be the break up of a family.I did not take him to be proposing a new law conferring amnesty. To do what the former Speaker proposed would require no change in U.S. law. All you’d need is the sensible application of prosecutorial discretion.
Part of the argument, though, seems to be about "magnets." Romney fired back at Newt during the debate and insisted that not to deport them all would be legitimizing a magnet and serve as an incentive for others to come:
Look, amnesty is a magnet. What when we have had in the past, programs that have said that if people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that's going to only encourage more people to come here illegally.
Andrew McCarthy again:
In my mind, if you are in the country without authorization and we elect not to use our power to kick you out, you are the recipient of humane treatment and a very valuable benefit. You don’t rate more than that. We simply leave you alone: You don’t get the windfall of some sort of legal status, we don’t make it easier for you to work, and it’s not our job to relieve your anxiety over your status — you brought that anxiety on yourself when you entered or stayed illegally. If being here without authorization is causing you grief, go home and try to come back through the legal process. If you don’t want to do that, you takes your chances — period.Now that, to me, is common sense. I'm for the McCarthy plan! We leave you alone. If you're here illegally, you don't get free social services, you don't get to vote, you don't get a driver's license, you don't get in-state tuition in Texas or any other state. If you're a criminal, terrorist, drug user, or other burden on society, we'll use our resources to deport you. Is that a "magnet"? Probably. So secure the border, already.
I think it is, frankly, unrealistic to think that with the current staffing of ICE that we would or could deport every illegal. I also think Newt makes a bit of sense when he suggests we must be humane about it all.
It's sort of like this Republican field. There's no perfect answer. There's no real conservative option.