Questions for Newt Gingrich about His Immigration Proposal

By Ronald W. Mortensen on November 29, 2011

During the CNN Republican presidential debate on November 22 and in follow-up comments, Newt Gingrich appears to be proposing that illegal aliens who have committed serious job-related felonies for an extended period of time be granted legal status. Those who had committed felonies for only a short period of time would be subject to deportation.

"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 said.

So, just exactly how have these folks been earning income and paying taxes and obeying the law if they have been in the United States illegally for 15 or 20 or 25 years? And what does Gingrich propose to do about the employment-related felonies they have committed?

Are these illegal aliens among the estimated 75 percent of all illegal aliens who routinely use a fraudulently obtained Social Security number which is a federal felony?

Were they ever employed by reputable employers who required them to complete an I-9 form? If so, did they provide false information on their I-9 forms and commit perjury – a federal felony?

Do the Social Security numbers used by illegal aliens that Gingrich would grant legal status to belong to American citizens, including the estimated 50,000 Utah children who have their Social Security numbers being used by illegal aliens to get jobs? If so, this identity theft under Utah law which is another felony with real victims who suffer terrible harm.

If the people Gingrich would extend legal status to committed any or all of these job-related felonies, what does he propose doing about it? Will they be given a pass? Will they be required to make restitution to the victims of their crimes? Will they be denied legal status?

Or is Gingrich callously overlooking all of these felonies and completely ignoring the negative impact that they have on the rightful holders of the Social Security numbers. After all, nary a "humane" word was said about the American victims of these crimes and their families despite the fact that they may have their credit destroyed, arrest records attached to their names, and risk having their medical records corrupted with life-threatening consequences.

There are still more questions that Gingrich needs to address.

Did the illegal aliens who would benefit from his plan own businesses or work as private contractors? If so did they file tax returns for the entire time they were in the United States? Did they report their income using a fraudulently obtained Social Security number or did they misuse an ITIN? If they owned a business, did they require their employees to fill out I-9 forms as required by law and did they collect and remit payroll taxes? If not, are they still eligible for Gingrich's legalization?

Did the beneficiaries of Gingrich's legalization proposal ever work "off the books." Did they voluntarily file tax returns and comply with payroll tax requirements? If not, what does Gingrich plan to do in these cases?

Did they ever fraudulently receive any public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, in-state tuition, etc. even though they are illegally in the United States and not generally eligible for these benefits? If so, will they still be eligible for legal status?

Did illegal aliens with many years residence in the United States unlawfully obtain driver's licenses, green cards, or other identifying documents in violation of state and federal laws? Did they use fraudulent Social Security numbers to open bank accounts or obtain mortgages and credit cards? Will these folks be eligible for legal status?

What about illegal aliens who were ever involved in gang activities, drug dealing, or other illegal activities? Do they qualify for legalization?

Does it bother Gingrich that he is condoning a culture of corruption and that he is helping destroy the rule of law?

And does he give a hoot about the millions of American men, women, and children who are victims of illegal alien identity theft and fraud or is he willing to write them off as collateral damage in his misguided effort to reward illegal behavior?

Mr. Gingrich needs to use his exceptional intellectual skills to find solutions for the victims of illegal alien crimes before he solves the problems of those committing the crimes.