Gingrich Stand On Immigration Threatens Bid?
Via AOL ~ Newt Gingrich took a stance on immigration unpopular with many in the Republican party in a primary debate Tuesday night, and will now have to wait to see if he is punished for it by conservatives.
Gingrich, who has come from the back of the pack in the Republican presidential primary to lead in many national polls, refused to play along with the idea -- expressed implicitly by some other candidates -- that the only solution to the problem of undocumented immigration is to deport the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.
"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," Gingrich said. "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."
With his answer, the former speaker of the House from Georgia risked suffering the same fate as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who told those who disagree with his support for in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants that they "don't have a heart," and suffered for it badly with the conservative base.
Gingrich knew what he was doing. He took a long pause before doubling down on his position, after he was criticized by both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them," he said.