Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich strayed away from his Party’s camp by calling for a “humane” path to immigration enforcement for undocumented immigrants. By going forth with this move that is considered taboo amongst the GOP, he has “established double-digit leads in some polls in the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina.” A few weeks ago, during a CNN GOP presidential debate Gingrich said, “I don’t see how the-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. 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.'” Although he has made it clear time and time again that he does not think anybody should be eligible for citizenship, he supports a “certification to legality with no right to vote and no right to become an American citizen unless they go home and apply through the regular procedures back home and get in line behind everybody else who has obeyed the law.” Although his strategy may lack pragmatism, he at least has toned down the overheated rhetoric and is focusing on a positive immigration reform method. Newt Gingrich said he favored a “sequencing” approach rather than comprehensive immigration reform. If it were up to him, the solution to those immigrants who are already here would come only after there had been completion of several prior steps, including gaining control of the border; making English the official language; ensuring that those who become citizens are knowledgeable about the history of our founding; improving the visa program; deporting criminals; and establishing a guest-worker program. He has laid out a 10-step program for immigration reform that would create a “truly efficient and fair system that embraces the rule of law, while acknowledging and celebrating the valuable economic, cultural and social contributions that both existing and future visitors and immigrants have to offer our country.” Color Lines, a daily news site “in service to racial justice,” wrote that Gingrich’s “remarks were a reminder of how far the right has moved on immigration, and how twisted the immigration debate has become for both parties.” Although it may be too soon to say, Gingrich’s remarks could be a sign that Republicans are ready to heed growing calls from within their own party to temper the anti-immigrant rhetoric and stop alienating Latino voters once and for all. Even though his appeal to this demographic has won him the appeal of countless people, he is facing down accusations from his rivals on the presidential candidacy race that he is too soft on immigration to win the Republican nomination. On the other hand, Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida has said that the GOP “should be the pro-legal immigration party,” saying it’s time for candidates to start talking about “how we modernize our legal immigration system.” We believe Newt Gingrich is pursuing a sensitive approach that gives merited respect to the family nucleus that is so often damaged by the toils and suffering that come as a consequences of being caught in the web of the immigration system. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that 46% of “unauthorized adult immigrants today-about 4.7 million people-are parents of minor children.” Even though Newt Gingrich’s strategy needs to be worked on further, he is going down the right path, one that could save and keep countless families united.
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