Newt Gingrich is the current front runner in polls so it is his turn to be taken down a few notches by the others.
The big kerfuffle from Tuesday night's debate is over tackling illegal immigration reform. What do you do with the estimated eleven million people in our country illegally? Newt Gingrich gave an honest, common sensical response and his challengers went nuts. Michele Bachmann's camp was issuing statements - incorrect interpretations of Gingrich's answer, by the way - before the debate was finished.
Here is Gingrich's position: instead of a knee-jerk style of blanket deportation, he is offering up a solution that would involve a local compenent to the federal law. Though the actual implimentation is questionable, he favors an approach used in the draft boards for WWII. Read this from Newt's 10 Point Plan:
6. Create a path to earned legality for some of the millions of people who are here outside the law.
There are currently anywhere from 8 to 12 million people living in the United States who entered illegally.
These people range from day laborers who arrived recently, to grandparents who have been paying taxes, supporting their families and obeying the law for decades.
We need a system that enforces the rule of law, ensures that those who broke the law pay a stiff penalty, but also acknowledges that it is neither optimal nor feasible nor humane to deport every single illegal immigrant.
We need a path to legality, but not citizenship, for some of these individuals who have deep ties to America, including family, church and community ties. We also need a path to swift but dignified repatriation for those who are transient and have no roots in America.
We need a process that can distinguish at the human level.
Congress must charge the Department of Justice to establish a “citizens’ review” process for those here outside the law. It would establish committees to process these cases in individual communities and determine who will continue on this path to legality, and who will be sent home. Congress must define understandable, clear, objective legal standards that will be applied equally during this process. While this process is ongoing, those here outside the law will be granted Temporary Legal Status for a certain, limited period of time until all have had the opportunity to apply and appear in front of committees.
Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.
The government will rigorously enforce a requirement that all individuals seeking this path to legality must be able to prove that they can independently pay for private health insurance. If an individual cannot prove this, they will lose the ability to stay in the United States.
Furthermore, proficiency in English within a certain number of years, similar to the requirement for naturalization, will be required for anyone who seeks continued legal status in the United States.
Once an applicant has been granted the right to obtain legal status, he or she will have to pay a penalty of at least $5,000.
Moving forward, those who receive this status will have to prove on a regular basis that they can support themselves without entitlement programs and pay for health insurance or else risk the ability to stay in the United States.
Doesn't that make sense? Sounds like a conservative's approach to reforming the problem to me. When you hear Democrats and other Republicans and the media state that Gingrich wants blanket amnesty to all of those illegally here, you have the truth before you. Just read it.
Then, read this quote:
"`I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.''
Newt Gingrich's common sense approach to illegal immigration sounds a lot like that guy, doesn't it? That quote comes from Mitt Romney during an appearance in 2007 on Meet the Press. Mitt Romney is now busy trying to demonize Gingrich in the GOP presidential primary because Gingrich shows leadership with an actual plan, not a blanket knee-jerk reaction for political expediency.
We are a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of laws, too. To say that the Republican party is anti-immigrant is a lie. We are a party that demands legal immigration and respect for our borders. We believe in our nation's gifts of diversity and the strengths everyone brings to the table.
We believe those with criminal records should be sent home:
7. Deportation of criminals and gang members should be efficient and fast.
We must end the practice of “catch and release,” under which dangerous criminals here illegally are caught by law enforcement, but then quickly returned to society.
When someone is here illegally and is dangerous, there should be expedited procedures to remove them from the United States as rapidly as possible.
The current system is so cumbersome and time-consuming that many arrested non-citizens are released back into society and simply break their word and disappear. This is wrong and dangerous.
We need strong leadership in our country and common sense solutions to our biggest problems. Whether it is our struggling economy or national security issues, we must stand behind the most conservative candidate on the Republican side who can defeat Barack Obama in November 2012. That is the most important fact to remember.