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Ending the Dishonesty: The Way Forward on Border Control and Patriotic Immigration

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By Newt Gingrich

I believe that the requirement for everybody who is currently here illegally is very simple. You go home and you get the new card at home, and I'll give you the card when you go home, but I want to insist that you start your real experience of America by obeying the law. And this is a Giuliani model.

I mean he may not endorse this. I'm not saying he will endorse it, but if you look at what Giuliani did to fight crime in New York, he was very tough on crime. He said, 'We are not going to let you stand in the middle of the street and break the law. We are not going to let you have graffiti on the wall. We are not going to put up with the things people put up with.' Now people say, 'Well, how can you ask them to do that?'

Notice this little thing, and I do want to thank, by the way, for just doing an extraordinary job, Vince Haley is our research director here at AEI. Vince is putting all this together and points out to me on the way over -- because we are still unpeeling this and trying to understand it. All of our friends in the establishment who will tell you it is too great a burden to require somebody who is here illegally to actually go home are telling you that they do not have amnesty because they have a fine. So what they are saying is the amount of money I would ask somebody to pay to go home and obey the law, they would take for the government in the form of a fine.

But somehow they think they will find the money to pay the fine but they will not find the money to go home. It is actually very cheap to go home. But here is my further point. We are talking about people who managed to enter the US illegally, so we know that they are able to travel. We are not uprooting somebody who was born in Kansas City and never left town and is now frightened of the idea of finding themselves in Guatemala City. And we are saying to them, 'You can go home legally. We are going to let you go right through TSA. You need to get a cheap airplane. You can take a bus.

There are a number of ways that people do this. You and five of your friends can pile in a car.' But we are going to set the principle, people do not start their life in the United States by breaking the law and then establish some kind of totally phony game, and that is what is in this bill. ... Male Voice 1: What would you do about the question of the Fourteenth Amendment and birthright citizenship? Newt Gingrich: Well, I personally believe … again, I'm not suggesting we expel anyone. I want to start with that. I personally believe that the Fourteenth Amendment, there is nothing in the Fourteenth Amendment that relates to geography. The Fourteenth Amendment relates to legality, and I suspect any of the people who wrote the Fourteenth Amendment would have said, and I believe in fact -- Vince, correct me if I'm wrong - but I think it actually did say that this does not relate specifically to people who show up outside the law. And so again, I'm against our running around trying to deport people.

I think that that is not a sustainable policy. I think it is an anti-human policy, and I do agree with the Pope's vision that we seek justice in a hemisphere of hope and a climate of hope, and he talked of North and South America as being bound in many ways. So I do not want to get into fights where you say, 'We are going to pick up somebody in the middle of labor and try to deport them.'

But I think the absurdity of making the case, willful law-breaking can lead to lawful outcome. It strikes me as in the long run not sustainable. But it is not a place I would start the fight. I think that it is part of what will evolve, and frankly, if you have an honest program of being able to come here honestly and you are operating within the law, you are not going to have those kinds of problems.


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