When Newt Gingrich talked about immigration at the last debate he alarmed many people. Gingrich talked about the GOP being a family oriented party that would not want to throw out families of illegal aliens who had been here for 25 years.
True, no one wants to see 12 million people rounded up and sent back to Mexico, but his idea is one that sounds good but is not really workable. As Ace of Spades blog put it, it was “campaign trail chum” thrown out there as bait for votes. He cannot be serious about it.
For instance, where would you draw the line on illegals in this country? He mentioned 25 years, but what about 24 years? 23 years? 20?
How would it be enforced? Gingrich later clarified (well, not really) by saying he would set up community boards to decide whether someone gets amnesty or is deported. It’s College Professor Newt; here’s your assignment pupils, now go out and implement my theory.
Is this even constitutional? How would members of the board be decided? Would they be elected or appointed? He ignores issues such as the requirements they would need, whether the standards would be consistent and how states would determine that.
This community board would have virtually the power of life and death over people. It would also make them prime candidates for graft, bribes and all kinds of corruption. Also, could an illegal game the system by applying in a liberal state and then moving to a conservative one?
Who has confidence in fellow Americans anymore, by the way? Juries have not elevated my opinion of intelligent Americans weighing issues calmly and intelligently. Casey Anthony anyone?
What of those legal aliens who are waiting for citizenship? Do others jump the line on them? That would not be fair.
Such a program would have massive impact on our society, economically and politically. In fact, this smacks of “right wing social engineering” the Speaker himself decried in Paul Ryan’s economic plan.
It will be interesting to measure the blowback Gingrich encounters.