Newt Gingrich is being roundly criticized or praised this morning for purportedly showing a heart on immigration. One never knows with Newt, a pretty face or a stack of cash is all it takes for him to break every vow he’s ever made. But there are advantages and disadvantages in what he seems to be proposing on one of the Teaparty’s hot-button issues:
(NYT Blogs) — “I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century,” Mr. Gingrich said during the debate. “And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”
Oh, the humanity! In fairness Gingrich is right, but I don’t trust his motives and any trust he had in general got pissed away on affair number three years ago. The problem is there are millions of US citizens born of illegal immigrant parents. They’re all ages, and some are way too young to live on their own. Deport their parents and those kids end up in massive government-run orphanages or worse, which denies them their civil rights. Unconstitutional big government ethnic cleansing, quite a conundrum legally and morally. If Gingrich is hinting at th e existence of that reality, so far unrequited by the foreign hating conservative and religious base he exploits, good for him.
What worries me is his quick caveat added later that they “won’t be citizens”. That suggests the parents would quite literally be official second class residents without the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities the rest of us have. In conservaspeak that’s all pig latin for don’t vote, can’t sue, can’t complain, work for less than minimum wage. It conveniently removes the objection wealthy conservatives have to immigrants being deported, i.e., they work cheap, but neuters them politically. It may well represent the next attempt by the GOP to divide and conquer an otherwise politically libelous demographic. That two-tiered system also treads uncomfortably close to state-sanctioned slavery