Roy Beck has been dealing with the immigration issue for a long time. He remembers how we got here. And that's why, unlike Conor Friedersdorf, he's not impressed by New Gingrich's "compassion."[More VDARE.com commentary below.]
By Roy Beck, Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 10:56 AM EST
(NOTE TO READERS: Below are my beginning thoughts and notes about the debate last night. I apologize for the lateness. I am on vacation. But after several phone calls from journalists and reading the transcript today, I feel I need to set out some facts and thoughts. I will be adding to this and cleaning it up. At the bottom are key quotes from the candidates last night.)
The mainstream news media is filled with awe that Newt Gingrich showed some "compassion" for illegal aliens in last night's GOP presidential debate. A look at his record while in Congress shows this is nothing new.
In fact, Gingrich's leadership in Congress is one of the reasons we have so many illegal aliens today who have been able to stay in this country for 25 years.
That's the supreme irony of Gingrich's pro-amnesty remarks in last night's debate. The man who helped ensure that illegal aliens from the 1980s and 1990s are still here in 2011 asked voters last night to consider the inhumanity of making illegal aliens leave this country after they have sunk such long roots here.
If, while Speaker of the House in the 1990s, Gingrich had shown any leadership in stopping illegal immigration, there would be very few illegal aliens still here from the 1980s and 1990s because they wouldn't have been able to hold payroll jobs.
Nobody pushed him last night to take a pro-amnesty stand. He volunteered it! By focusing on long-term illegal aliens, he took a big risk that the media spotlight (or at least the internet and talk radio spotlight) would shine on his long-term record with those illegal aliens.
What the spotlight will find is that Gingrich worked with Big Business lobbyists to make sure that employers could continue to hire illegal workers, and thus sink roots that would be used by pro-amnesty politicians to justify legalizing them today.
We hear the same arguments from the National Council of La Raza, from the ACLU, from the National Immigration Forum — all of them cite the lack of past enforcement (which they impeded at every turn) as having allowed illegal aliens to sink such long roots that it would be unjust to make them go home now.
Gingrich reaffirmed his support for some legalizations several times last night. Here is his first comment: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.
— Newt Gingrich
He went on to indicate that he would give them permanent legal residency and permanent work permits, but not U.S. citizenship. He and his supporters in the media say it isn't amnesty if the illegal aliens don't get citizenship. I suppose that is supposed to make the unemployed American who is left without a job feel better.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION WOULD NOT BE A TOPIC IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES IF SPEAKER GINGRICH IN 1996 HAD TAKEN DIFFERENT IMMIGRATION POSITIONS