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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Gingrich Surge Shows Antis Aren't as Powerful as Believed

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

I've blogged for years that the vast majority of the public - even conservative Republicans - don't consider immigration one of the top problems facing the country. And those that do tend to favor some kind of legalization program. The true antis represent only a small fraction of the populous. But to hear the Michelle Bachmans and Rick Santorums in the GOP primary race - as well as the general rhetoric from elected right wing politicians - you might not realize this.


But if you wanted to test my argument, just look at the Newt Gingrich campaign. He has been relatively moderate on immigration issues for years. I remember writing about his views when he was Speaker of the House in the 1990s. And his recent statements that he would favor some type of legalization program - the third rail for the antis - hasn't doomed his campaign. In fact, his numbers have continued to rise and rise. If he wins the GOP nomination, he's likely to become further emboldened to talk about practical approaches and he just might pick up a decent percentage of the Hispanic vote if they decide not to punish him for his party's general positions on the issue.

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  1. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Did not Gingrich preside over enactment of the 3/10 year bars? That's one of the main reasons for today's high levels of illegal immigration.
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I agree, but I recall he also was okay with permanently extending 245(i) which enabled us to deal with the bars in a lot of cases.
  3. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    It's one of those cases when two wrongs does not make it right. The bars should be off the books. Evil, stupid law.
  4. Sid's Avatar
    Here's a counterargument to the Gingrich-Hispanic vote theory -

    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/myths-of-the-hispanic-vote/
  5. Jack's Avatar
    "Gingrich with higher name recognition than Romney among Hispanic voters, but weaker approval ratings: Romney gets a 28/25 favorable/unfavorable split, while Gingrich is underwater at 32/36. This probably reflects the fact that even though Romney is to Gingrich's right on immigration policy, he's perceived as more centrist overall -- and that broad perception matters more than the details of their respective positions on border security and E-Verify and paths to citizenship. There isn't some clever double-secret "Hispanic path" to winning the White House, in other words. With Latinos as with whites, the more electable candidate is the more electable candidate, regardless of his stance on immigration."

    Wow, Romney stuck with rule of law while Gingrich proposed legalization and Newt doesn't get any traction with Latinos. So much for Sharry's perennial political advice to ethnically pander on immigration.

  6. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Jack, there is absolutely no conflict between legalization and the rule of law. Legalization happens by the law. The only difference is that legalization works, and wishing that the rule of law is going to eliminate illegal immigration does not, as demonstrated by the decades of recent history.
  7. gg's Avatar
    Mitt Romney's secret immigration plan to be unveiled soon

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/article/transcript-our-interview-mitt-romney/242671
  8. Jack's Avatar
    Romney:

    I don't think that there is a call for rounding people up and taking them out of the country. I don't think that that's the process that's necessary to maintain our system. I don't want to, however, during this process, say anything that encourages another wave of illegal immigration. And so by as Speaker Gingrich did, that he thinks at some point during this process anything that encourages another wave of illegal immigration. And so by saying, as Speaker Gingrich did, that he thinks at some point people should be entitled to stay here permanently, if you will, a form of amnesty, then I think that he encourages another wave of people coming in and saying, "Hey if you get there and if you hang on long enough, you get to stay."

    ------

    Refutes the mass deportation straw man and points out that even talking about amnesty encourages illegal immigration. Compared to the competition, he's certainly articulate on immigration policy. Whether he has any integrity and conviction is, of course, another matter but at least he understands the issue.
  9. Jack's Avatar
    "The true antis represent only a small fraction of the populous."

    The true anti-enforcements and unlimited immigrationists aren't exactly a majority of the populace. They are on the fringe. Big in the special interest arena though. The grass roots are more pro-enforcement and limited immigration.
  10. RT's Avatar
    http://www.npr.org/2011/12/05/143141876/illegal-farm-worker-becomes-brain-surgeon?sc=tw&cc=share
  11. George Chell's Avatar
    "Wow, Romney stuck with rule of law"

    Is that why he is not gaining traction?

    "The grass roots are more pro-enforcement and limited immigration."

    The grassroots want everything....want their cake and eat it too. If the grassroots are in the south, they are a bunch of bigots...that is what many white people are in Alabama and Georgia...at least the majority of them. When the grassroots find a way to pay back the national debt they can have their country back and call for limited immigration. Romney is all for maintaining the high levels of legal immigration. The only person who really opposes legal immigration is Michelle "the bigot" Bachmann who masquerades as a good christian and she wont gain any traction.

  12. Another Voice's Avatar
    I still think that even if he gets the nomination, the contest between an Obama CIR and Gingrich half CIR is where the battle would still be won by the dems. However it is valuable to Gingrich can show some in the republican party that you can do the common sense/practical and smart approach without fearing that it would kill you politically.
  13. Another Voice's Avatar
    "The true anti-enforcements and unlimited immigrationists aren't exactly a majority of the populace." " The grass roots are more pro-enforcement and limited immigration."

    Well said Jack now you understand that your camp is in the minority and that most Americans do not share your position. Show us who is proposing on the other side an amnesty similar to the one on 1986. Just because you call any effort of reform amnesty does not mean it is....you may want to familiarize your self with the actual meaning of amnesty and test that against the recent attempts of immigration reform my sense is that ti does not meet the test of amnesty.
  14. George Chell's Avatar
    Are they finding out the hard way that beggars cannot be choosers and that American privilege is a myth at a time of American indebtedness and bankruptcy (Jefferson County/Mountain Brook, AL).....

    http://news.yahoo.com/ala-gop-leaders-2nd-thoughts-immigration-191341807.html

    Or are they so arrogant that they think their white skin privilege of which they are used to in the frats and sororities of the University of Alabama will save them again? The answer, my friends, is left to the bunch of Chinese investors who are thinking of Alabama as a low wage destination for investment compared to the high wage Shanghai and southern China!
  15. gg's Avatar

    Majority of Americans believe illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the U.S.



    http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/public-wants-immigrants-to-be-able-to-stay-20111206
  16. John Lamb's Avatar
    Greg's post is spot on. The top 3 candidates in the 2008 presidential campaign - Hillary, McCain, and Obama - were all the most moderate candidates on immigration. And Huckabee won Iowa when he was being railed on as being soft on immigration.
  17. GENNADIJ21Shilov's Avatar
    ????????? ?????????????? ?????? ?????? ?????
  18. Another Voice's Avatar
    UNRELATED- George you called it!!!

    De Leon: Rare Feat of Bipartisanship Blocked by Leading Republican Senator

    http://news.feetintwoworlds.org/2011/12/08/de-leon-rare-feat-of-bipartisanship-blocked-by-leading-republican-senator/
  19. George Chell's Avatar
    Another Voice:

    It is old news. All Grassley is doing is driving more jobs away from America...as I have emphasized over and over again..he is an idiot!
  20. gg's Avatar
    State Dept official: SC immigration law is wrong


    "Act No. 69 undermines the diverse immigration administration and enforcement tools made available to federal authorities and establishes a distinct state-specific immigration policy, driven by an individual state's own policy choices, which clashes with U.S. foreign affairs priorities, risks significant harassment of foreign nationals, and has the potential to harm a wide range of delicate U.S. foreign relations interests," according to a statement by Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns.

    Read more: http://www.heraldonline.com/2011/12/09/3587743/state-dept-official-sc-immigration.html#ixzz1g4a4mX3W
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