Newt Gingrich really stepped in it at last night’s GOP debate on foreign policy: he sounded reasonable on immigration.
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 have various penalties for employers, but I urge you to look at the Krieble Foundation plan. The party that says it’s the party of the family is not going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families who have been here a quarter century. 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.
He was immediately pilloried by Michele Bachmann — the “pro-family” candidate — for being such a wuss by letting brown people stay in the country just to be with their family. Compassionate conservatism is so 2000.
Still, it’s a pleasant surprise to hear Mr. Gingrich take up such a reasonable approach on immigration; it borders on humane.
That, or he’s got an angle on putting the kids to work.