Getting practical

Gingrich's immigration stance exhibits common sense

  • Follow Editorials

The row among conservatives over Newt Gingrich’s immigration stance is both silly and dangerous.

The surprise Republican presidential frontrunner in some polls said during a debate last week that illegals with several decades and deep entanglements in American life shouldn’t be deported.

Gasp!

Before conservatives self-immolate and toss yet another candidate on the heap, let’s at least comb through what he said.

First, from a purely human standpoint, he’s right: Do you really want a friend or associate of 20 or 25 years deported, perhaps dividing a family?

Second, from a purely practical standpoint, doing so would be a bureaucratic nightmare. As Ed Rogers, writing at WashingtonPost.com, notes, “Gingrich was simply telling the truth. We will not deport a population as large as the state of Ohio’s, and any candidate who says otherwise is either ignorant or a hypocrite, and should be penalized, not rewarded.”

Third, Gingrich didn’t suggest citizenship for those who remain; rather, some other “red-card” designation that would bring the illegals out of the shadows and into law-abiding society.

At that point, conservatives would be absolutely right to insist that a number of things happen.

First, either the illegals have been using false identification or they’ve been evading taxes or both. To qualify to stay, they should have to face the music – by either paying back taxes and penalties, and/or being criminally prosecuted for identify theft (or falsification) or tax evasion, or both.

If they’re willing to endure those punitive measures in order to stay, that is their choice. It’s a humane, yet legally sound path to solving this problem.

In America’s decades-long neglect of immigration law, and our growing attempts to secure the border and rectify the wrongs done, propriety seems to have run smack dab into practicality. But we think a cool-headed consideration of Gingrich’s solution could serve both ends: propriety and practicality.

Of course, the first step must be the securing of America’s border and a nationwide crackdown on hiring illegals. That alone will lead to the infinitely more practical self-deportation of those without deep ties or the willingness to finally pay the piper.

No editorial page in the land is more opposed to blanket amnesty. But this wouldn’t be that. Quite the opposite: It would be the only doable way to hold illegal immigrants accountable. That’s a pretty conservative value, wouldn’t you say?

Moreover, conservatives must be careful – especially if they want to prevail in next year’s general elections – not to reflexively reject any notion of a practical way forward on immigration. They’re playing with fire, and are likely to get burned, if they regard deportation of all illegals, no matter how long their tenure, as a litmus test of a presidential candidate.

Comments (24) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
burninater
9799
Points
burninater 11/28/11 - 10:50 pm
0
0
Oh, this is getting fun!

Oh, this is getting fun! Suddenly adultery isn't so bad, and amnesty has been sensible all along! The lights are dimming on the Cirque de Soleil Republican primaries, and the Eastern European contortionist in sequins is taking the stage!

(Stepping back from the snark for a moment, seeing glimmers of movement towards practicality on the Right is delightfully refreshing... Bravo ACES! ... Now back to the Spider Lady of Prague ...)

faithson
5449
Points
faithson 11/29/11 - 12:43 am
0
0
Is this Editorial about

Is this Editorial about immigration or an excuse to give Newt a second chance. If this editorial board starts to embrace the 'New Newt' I can assure you, you will look the fool. giving this man of no character, let alone no scruples your support only shows how weak your policy positions truly are. The RNC is screwed... if they come out against Cain who now is accused of being an adulterer, they must, to be cogent, come out against Newt for exactly the same behavior...

wtinney
0
Points
wtinney 11/29/11 - 02:02 am
0
0
Illegal... is illegal... is

Illegal... is illegal... is illegal! There is no way around it. It does not matter if Newt is telling the truth - that still does not make him right. If this is still a republic, it is still law above man and therefore it should not matter what I or any other people think about people being deported after having been here illegally for 20 or 25 years - dividing families or not. Stop making broken laws into only bent laws - they're broken. Many stole identities from citizens to maintain their presence here. All that come here illegally should be removed...period. This is all a catch 22 that has come back to bite everyone. Dems and other so-called "humane" folks said, "don't worry, it is just a small number of folks crossing the border. We need them, this is an immigrant nation, etc. etc.". Then when many were able to stay because of lax enforcement. The same Dems and "humane" people say, "oh, wait, you cannot get rid of all those people now - it would divide families". This is nothing more than people and government trying to shirk their responsibilities to uphold and enforce the laws of the land.

allhans
24520
Points
allhans 11/29/11 - 05:13 am
0
0
Oh my, Toto! Surely there is

Oh my, Toto! Surely there is a perfect person out there someplace.
Let's keep going down this road....
We are becoming so bitter, so crass.
We can't have a candidate that might profess to be a Christian, we certainly can't elect a sinner. I guess that leaves us with no choice but to re-elect Mr Perfection, himself.
With a heavy heart I say: What a comedy we have become.

Riverman1
90594
Points
Riverman1 11/29/11 - 05:16 am
0
0
It is a dilemma what to do

It is a dilemma what to do with all the illegals working here. Gingrich idea of keeping them in citizenship purgatory may be the best idea. Let them work legally under some type of visa, but don't expedite their citizenship. If we try to kick out 10 million people, it's going to be viewed as ethnic cleansing even if such a thing were possible.

carcraft
27875
Points
carcraft 11/29/11 - 05:45 am
0
0
Newt brings more to the table

Newt brings more to the table than Obama the tele prompter reader in chief..BWAHAHAHAHA, fun to watch Dems talk about Newt etc while Obama blunders along. Maybe the Republicans could find an empty suit as clueless as Obama and run him, LOL Democrats are retiring in droves (Little Bawaney "if it aint broke, or even if it is broke we won't fix it" Frank) is the latest, because of the coming election losses they expect. Most intelligent people say this looks more like 2010 than 2008. It is really amusing to watch Dem posters here wistle past the grave yard..LOL

augusta citizen
9948
Points
augusta citizen 11/29/11 - 06:51 am
0
0
Newt's idea on how to handle

Newt's idea on how to handle this problem is practical and well thought out. It is an approach that has a chance to work. wtinney, I don't see it as making a broke law, a bent law. I see it as a starting point to solving a big problem. The laxness on illegal immigration has been many years in the making and there's no magic wand to solve it now. We need a Republican candidate that can win the presidency and Newt's biggest asset is his intelligence and reasoned thinking. His plan offers compromise which is what the left is always yammering for, but what they don't really want from the Republicans. They want to keep the Republicans looking like the bad guys. The media and Dem's would love for this plan to divide our party.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 11/29/11 - 06:54 am
0
0
AMNESTY for ALL undocumented

AMNESTY for ALL undocumented workers and non-workers. Democrat voters needed. While we are at it,AMNESTY for all criminals that have been breaking the law for 10 years! Oh,what the heck,AMNESTY for everybody! The humane thing to do.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 11/29/11 - 07:02 am
0
0
My views on immigration.
Unpublished

My views on immigration. STOP all new immigration proceedings/requests. Build a wall along our southern border. When our troops come finish coming home- start stationing them in the southwest desert areas. Those areas of our country most resemble those of the middle east and would be the best spot for regular training bases. They can help patrol the border because of their new proximity. As for the illegals in this country- Those who come forward within a specifically stated time can get a warning and a fine for breaking the law and will be put in the express lane for citizenship-BUT will have to meet all legal requirements during the process (background checks, fulfill their punishment)- they will also pay an additional fee to cover the additional personnel that will be required to process them outside of the regular citizenship process. Also, somewhere during this process our political leaders need to end the laws giving immediate citizenship to children born here from non residents of our country.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 11/29/11 - 07:34 am
0
0
Well said Augusta Citizen,

Well said Augusta Citizen, and Chronicle. Newt has a realistic solution. The idea you'll jail, or deport 12 million people is not a reality. Good for Newt for not just talking in scripted talking points.

onlysane1left
222
Points
onlysane1left 11/29/11 - 07:49 am
0
0
Wtinney and Copperhead must

Wtinney and Copperhead must not understand that a Republican, Gingrich, is making this stand on immigration, not a liberial, not Obama, and not the Democrats.

Funny how people are about this situation. I knew a guy who was from the UK and was here way past his visa, but was working in South Carolina, everyone knew he was illegal, but no one said anything, yet, the hispanic work crew who would come and clean the bathrooms and floors were always threatened, teased, and taunted. Just a minor summary of the illegal situation in my book. I bet there are a ton of illegal Canadians and Europeans here in the US that are just accepted, but every one just focuses on people from other countries south of our borders.......

seenitB4
93707
Points
seenitB4 11/29/11 - 07:49 am
0
0
When jobs were plentiful we

When jobs were plentiful we didn't care did we?? Heh....did anyone really THINK we would ever send 12million back home.......hey...fantasy land thinking..
Stop the flow & find a way to tax the ones already here is the best solution....
Newt is not my favorite kid on the block but at least he is telling the truth on this.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 11/29/11 - 08:06 am
0
0
Secure the borders with
Unpublished

Secure the borders with American bases and soldiers.....get rid of the anchor baby law........round up remaining illegals and document them..this should keep Gov. workers busy for many years....(job security)

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 11/29/11 - 08:24 am
0
0
The growing desperation among

The growing desperation among conservative Republicans over finding an acceptable candidate is on full display here. ACES, worried about the ongoing spectacle of the Right devouring its own (Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Cain), is eager to find SOMEONE who's not Romney to run against Obama. Today it's Gingrich. So let's be clear that MR's insistence that longtime illegals pay 25 years or more of back taxes and face other criminal prosecutions is NOT part of Gingrich's proposal, at least so far. If Newt's proposal is intended to protect families and keep them together, how are hefty tax bills and potential prison terms supposed to achieve those worthy goals? The prospect of illegals remaining but not getting citizenship plays right into the far Right's political playbook. Under Newt's plan, longterm illegals would count in the censuses, thus increasing political representation in states such as Texas, but as non-citizens, they could not vote, insuring any new Congressional clout would be entirely Republican. Neat, real neat. Taxation without representation all over again!

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 11/29/11 - 09:21 am
0
0
I think Newt's got us talking

I think Newt's got us talking about a very real issue. How DO you handle the illegals who have been here for a very long time, have caused no problems, and are well integrated into their communities?

I agree, they won't be sent back. Whether they SHOULD be is another issue, they WON'T be. Accept that as a given and ask yourself what's the best way to implement it.

One problem is......where do you draw the line. I keep hearing 25 years. Or, 20 years. I ask myself, why not 24 years and 11 months, or 19 years and 6 months? I can see a long and protracted argument about that issue because wherever it's drawn it will seem "unfair" and the press will trot out some pitiful looking soul who's been a model citizen and is handicapped and poor and hold her up as a tragic victim of an uncaring society.

augusta citizen
9948
Points
augusta citizen 11/29/11 - 09:38 am
0
0
Harley said, "I agree they

Harley said, "I agree they won't be sent back. Whether they SHOULD be is another issue, they WON'T be. Accept that as a given and ask yourself what's the best way to implement it."

Exactly Harley, there are times when a problem is too big to deal with ideally and I think the illegal immigration issue is one of these. I don't know where you would draw the line and that raises additional debate. I just know we have to do something soon. We need to immediately secure our borders and then go from there. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/29/11 - 09:44 am
0
0
Republicans and Democrats

Republicans and Democrats want the illegals here. The game is fixed. We cannot win anymore, they have grown too powerful to stop.

Just open up the darn borders and let them all in. Welfare, Social Security, Free Education and Free Medical Care for all! We can afford it. It's not like we are in a very, very severe fiscal crisis or anything.

allhans
24520
Points
allhans 11/29/11 - 09:48 am
0
0
An immigrant who has been in

An immigrant who has been in this country for a few years and intends to stay have already applied for citizenship. If they haven't applied then they don't want it.
So give those folks bus fare.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 11/29/11 - 10:02 am
0
0
I have an idea. Why dosen't
Unpublished

I have an idea. Why dosen't the Chamber of Commerce force members to swear an oath not to hire or work on any project that has illegal immigrants? I mean that is the larget club of conservatives in the county and an oath would insure no employement which would equal zero illegals in the area. And when we get rid of the illegals and employers are forced to pay legal wages for labor, we can start getting our country secure. P.S. I think that to expect people who are paid sub-minimum wages, who were illegally hired in the first place, is a laugh. And what would they use to prove employement, they aren't given wage and earning statements, they are paid cash period.

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 11/29/11 - 10:11 am
0
0
augusta citizen said "We need

augusta citizen said "We need to immediately secure our borders and then go from there. "

Call me a skeptic, but I don't think that is either possible, or worth spending one more penny on.

As somebody said before, 'find me a fifteen foot fence, and I'll find you a sixteen foot ladder." I don't think we will ever "secure the border" as in "secure the border." The only way to really do that is to cover it completely with automatic weapons fire and I don't see that happening. Anything short of that, you're going to have people sneaking in by going over it, around it, through it, or under it.

I think the solution is to remove the incentives and punish the offenders. By that I mean deny all taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens except for true emergency life saving health care followed by immediate deportation. When I say "punish the offenders" I mean those who employ them, transport them, hide them, house them, or feed them.

If you do those things, we won't have a problem and we won't need a non-effective fence.

allhans
24520
Points
allhans 11/29/11 - 10:24 am
0
0
The C of C has a large number

The C of C has a large number of members but not nearly all businesses, especially the small business, belong to them.
The idea that illegals are paid less than others is false. Most of them work at large meat packing plants, (you know all the hamburger patties, chickens and such). Those we see cutting our lawns are not the typical Mexican worker.

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 11/29/11 - 10:34 am
0
0
We need to abolish minimum

We need to abolish minimum wage laws too. They are a significant cause of unemployment, make running many small businesses too difficult, and penalize young people by keeping them at home too long as well as preventing them from learning healthy work habits, skills, and personal responsibility.

paul v balducci
23
Points
paul v balducci 11/29/11 - 12:01 pm
0
0
I cannot believe ACES has

I cannot believe ACES has actually caved in slightly on its anti amnesty stance. If you think people who have been here 20 to 25 years and pay taxes and are integrated in their community are not deported then you are mistaken. Whether they SHOULD be can be debated but I can assure you that unless they satisfy immigration admissibility laws an immigration judge WILL issue an order of removal. An immigration judge does not have the ability to just let someone remain in the U.S. who does not have a legal right to do so. ICE on the other hand may exercise discretion and not enforce a removal order. Fat chance. This kind of discretion is extremely rare. Very rarely does an alien choose not to apply for an immigration benefit. Aliens don't apply for immigration benefits because it is extremely difficult for most aliens to qualify which only encourages more illegal immigration.

harley_52
25116
Points
harley_52 11/29/11 - 12:47 pm
0
0
What would happen, Mr.

What would happen, Mr. Balducci, if a new immigration law were written and signed by the President which provided for those have been here for 20-25 years and integrated into their communities to stay?

You're addressing current law, I'm supposing a new law with such provisions (as proposed by Gingrich) and many more which "modernize" a system that many consider broken.

allhans
24520
Points
allhans 11/29/11 - 12:57 pm
0
0
I still don't believe that

I still don't believe that very many that has been in this country for years haven't applied for citizenship. It's not that hard.
If the truth is known, the 20-25 year law would affect a surprisingly low number.

Riverman1
90594
Points
Riverman1 11/29/11 - 06:23 pm
0
0
Allhans, many people on legal

Allhans, many people on legal work visas don't want to become citizens and they stay for decades.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 11/29/11 - 09:44 pm
0
0
The issue is simple;no matter

The issue is simple;no matter what culture you are from; if you are here illegally, you should be given a chance to become a legal citizen and thus pay your fair share of taxes. If you refuse, you should be deported within 10 days. NO QUESTIONS, EXCUSES OR WHINING. America is the greatest country in the world, because its citizens have always held up the constitution as our guide for good government and human rights. I will gladly welcome any person who wishes to become a US Citizen, but if you simply desire to "feed off of us", I will do everything I can to turn you in and see that you are sent back where you came from.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs