GOP flavor-of-the-week Newt Gingrich advanced the latest version of a pro-amnesty stance at the 11th Republican presidential debate last night. Remember George W. Bush's infamous "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande" debate sound bite? Remember where that sentiment led? The former House Speaker edged mighty close to the same moralizing to rationalize amnesty.
Here's what Gingrich said:
I do believe if you've come here recently and you have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I don't see any reason to punish someone who came here at 3 years of age and wants to serve the United States of America.
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 you have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you.
I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have various severe penalties for employers, but I urge you to look at the Krieble Foundation plan. I don't see how the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter of a century. And 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."
Newt essentially embraced the DREAM Act amnesty, mass amnesty for a couple of million long-term illegal aliens, and the loony Krieble plan combining amnesty with a wholesale indentured servitude/legalized slavery system to benefit abusive employers – those unsavory dregs who crave ready access to unlimited numbers of foreign laborers. It's a means to circumvent the marketplace, giving them an unfair competitive advantage over decent and respectable businesses while depressing labor costs and making it impossible for American workers to vie for jobs under more labor-competitive conditions.
Notably, Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann articulated a superior approach in rebutting Newt.
Mitt Romney responded to Newt's amnesty embrace:
Amnesty is a magnet. That's only going to encourage more people to come illegally. ... I'm not going to start drawing lines here about who gets to stay and who gets to go.
But to – saying that we're going to say to the people who've come here illegally that now you're all going to get to stay, or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the United States, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing. People respond to incentives. And if you could become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you'll do so. What I want to do is bring people into this country legally, particularly those that have education and skill that allows us to compete globally.
Bingo! That's the idea behind Attrition Through Enforcement! It's astounding that such a brainiac as Newt Gingrich can't get his head around that straightforward concept.
Rep. Bachmann rightly and forthrightly rebuked Newt with, "I don't agree that you would make 11 million workers legal, because that, in effect, is amnesty."
While angling for conservatives' support in the Republican presidential primary, Gingrich's advocacy for amnesty runs the opposite direction. It may doom his chances for the nomination.
Newt's newest immigration position isn't conservative. Nor is it "humane" – the term he and other amnesty proponents love to invoke.
Illegal presence in the United States is in most instances a criminal offense. As such, it's a continuing offense – the person continually is breaking the law with each passing moment. Thus, long-term illegal aliens are in a sense the worst offenders. They have blackened their consciences and brazenly refused to get right with the law, opting instead to further their crime day after day, year after year and compound the consequences of their lawbreaking.
Newt raised a false "family-friendly" claim. It's no less pro-family to remove an illegal alien from this country than it is to put any other kind of criminal in prison, apart from his family. In deportees' cases, their families have the option of remaining intact; the other family members have only to join their illegal alien back in the home country.
None of this is to say hard cases shouldn't be dealt with in exceptional ways. But it is to say that Newt errs when he assumes that every illegal alien who's lived here for years and years is otherwise some paragon of virtue, worthy of America's officially rewarding their wrongdoing, giving imprimatur to their keeping the very thing they came here to steal.
Bonafide humanity by government must carefully weigh the harm to the body politic. Civil government's God-given job is to wield the sword of justice in the defense of its innocent citizens, the legitimate members of the body politic.
Newt, Bush, Perry, and others may claim the mantle of "humanity," but they in fact wear the cloak of injustice. They are willing to use the sword of the state to coerce innocent U.S. citizens to pay the price of illegal aliens' crimes.
In addition, the Gingrich-McCain-Bush-Teddy Kennedy pro-amnesty position undermines what is the actual most humane solution to our immigration problem: Attrition Through Enforcement.
Any time a politician like Gingrich starts parroting the politically correct line of the elite classes, particularly on issues like immigration, voters had better start paying attention, because that politician is about to sell the country down the river. When a politician like Newt starts invoking emotional terms like "family" and "humanity" to try to justify a radical policy like mass amnesty, voters will likely pause and look for a better candidate.