Newt Gingrich Talks Immigration Laws

Hon. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives addresses the NRA Celebration of American Values at the David Lawrence Convention Center During the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh on April 29,2011 UPI/Archie Carpenter

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is picking up where Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain left off. According to Phoenix’s Fox affiliate, the former speaker of the House was the latest candidate to pay a visit to Arizona and speak about illegal immigration.

Gingrich made his speech in downtown Phoenix in order to push his “21st Century Contract with America,” which includes a list of things he plans to do in order to fix the country. Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 and the immigration issues it addresses made the list, Gingrich said.

“There is something truly absurd about a federal government that refuses to control the border, refuses to do its job, and then attacks a local state,” he said to cheers among the audience of Tea Party members and Republicans. “My stand is that we should have absolute control over the border. We should have English as the official language of government.”

Where Gingrich deviates from his Republican competitors is what to do with people already here illegally. Instead of deporting illegal immigrants, Gingrich wants to provide a path—not for citizenship—but for legal status.

“[Illegal immigrants] should pay a penalty, but they should then get a Red Card which would not put them on the road for citizenship, but it would bring them in from illegality,” he said. “It would make them part of the community, and their children and grandchildren could aspire to become American citizens.”

Fox noted that Gingrich could have a hard time getting a nod from Arizona, whose Latino community will most likely feel alienated by his proposed policy.

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