Newt Gingrich, as the new Republican front runner, has taken some interesting positions on the immigration debate.
Statements at The Recent Republican Debate
In last week’s Republican Debate, Gingrich called for a “humane” immigration policy to avoid deportation for people who are deeply rooted in their churches and communities. NY TIMES.
Some applaud Gingrich for putting immigration back on the table for discussion. Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, says: “Gingrich, while hardly a reformer in the tradition of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, at least deigns to acknowledge the reality that it is neither practical nor humane to drive 11 million people out of the country.” Washington Post.
The Red Card
Mr. Gingrich said the following at the recent Republican Debate: “The Krieble Foundation is a very good red card program that says you get to be legal, but you don’t get a pass to citizenship.” Th Red Card Solution would attempt to separate legalization from citizenship by creating two distinct tracks for immigrants: 1) an expanded migrant/guest worker program that would issue microchipped cards to those who have secured jobs; 2) the current pathway to citizenship. Washington Post.
Under this plan, the children of these non-citizen workers—and, presumably, those born to illegal immigrants— who are born in the United States would not receive “birthright citizenship” that’s granted under the 14th Amendment, which the Krieble Foundation describes as an “absurd practice” that misinterprets the Constitution. Washington Post.
Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, is a strong critic of this so-called Red Card Solution: “It virtually guarantees that we create second-class status for workers and their families — lawful but with no real rights” Washington Post
I completely agree with Ms. Giovagnoli. Changing the constitution to deny birthright citizenship is a radical and controversial approach to immigration. By takings these recent positions, Gingrich now has critics on both sides of the spectrum. Republicans like Romney are accusing him of promoting Amnesty. Pro-immigrant advocates, once they read through this Red Card Solution, will its denial of birthright citizenship.