Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gingrich's aggravating attack on self-deportation

I haven't talked much about the current presidential primary. That's mostly because I don't like our choices. I think both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are big government politicians, and Rick Santorum is highly socially conservative, but doesn't seem quite so strong on issues of actual governance. Ron Paul is tempting in several ways, but his failure to distance himself from 9/11 conspiracy theorists is a source of serious concern for me.

Of the two front runners, Gingrich and Romney, Romney is slightly more conservative. I know, many people will argue that point. There's a lot to argue, it's true. I've become convinced the more I learn about Gingrich's political past that he's a big government progressive. Romney is far too big government for my liking, but he doesn't seem to be a progressive, and that difference really does matter.

One aggravating attack Gingrich made recently was with regard to the illegal alien problem we have in the United States. We want immigrants here. We want the best and brightest, those willing to take risks to make a better life. All we ask is that they come here legally, the way my wife did.

When asked about this in a recent debate, Romney advocated self-deportation. He was absolutely right. It's the only viable solution to this problem. You really can't arrest all illegal aliens, put them on buses or planes and send them home. You can make it impossible to work here illegally, the way Mexico presently does, and then they'll leave. That's self-deportation.

Pandering to Latino voters in Florida, Gingrich held an interview with Spanish-language Univision network, and he mocked this very sensible approach to solving the problem of illegal immigration. The Washington Post reports here.
“You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million income for no work to have some fantasy this far from reality,” Gingrich told Univision interviewer Jorge Ramos. “For Romney to believe that somebody’s grandmother is going to be so cut off that she is going to self-deport, I mean this is an Obama-level fantasy.”
I'll set aside the mocking of success and the denigration of the key concept of the right to rise in the free market and focus on Gingrich's unacceptable point on immigration.

Nobody's concerned about illegal alien grandmas self-deporting, though they shouldn't be eligible for benefits that should be reserved to those lawfully entitled to them. They have committed a crime, and they shouldn't be here, but they're not the focus of those of us who want to end illegal immigration. We're far more concerned with those taking jobs they legally aren't entitled to. We're even more concerned with those who associate with gangs, endanger others by driving illegally, or commit crimes beyond and in addition to the initial crime of coming here illegally. Even simply stealing someone else's social security number to illegally gain employment is sufficient that every lawful resident should object strongly.

What do employers have to do? It's easy. When interviewing for a position, let the candidate know they use the USCIS E-Verify system. Using it is key to maintaining compliance with U.S. law. Then employers should actually use the E-Verify system. Honest people who want to come here to work are welcome. They'll just need to do it lawfully and without stealing anyone's identity. Those who come here illegally for work will leave when they can't get a job. Those here illegally to commit crimes can be arrested and deported or arrested and jailed.

Gingrich is simply wrong on this issue, and even if he doesn't like Romney and wants to beat him, Gingrich should have the courage to admit when Romney is right.

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