Following Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate, alot of chatter is focused on Newt’s stated position on not deporting all illegal immigrants. Newt has rightly received criticism for that policy statement.

Before writing him off at liberal on immigration, it’s important to think whether his stated positions on enforcing the border and streamlining visa programs are mainstream thinking. I’d argue that they’re pretty mainstream.

Let’s compare Newt’s positions with Mitt’s actions, which I wrote about here. Mitt’s portraying himself as an immigration hardliner. What’s interesting is that his immigration ‘epiphany’ is inextricably linked to his presidential ambitions. Here’s what FactCheck wrote about Mitt’s ‘epiphany’:

Romney: As governor, I authorized the state police to enforce immigration laws.

Well, yes. But, as we noted in August, he didn’t do so until he had less than a month left in his term. He was already considering running for president, and the new governor-elect was expected to rescind the arrangement.

Romney began talking about giving troopers the power to make arrests on immigration charges earlier in 2006, but he didn’t sign an agreement with the federal government, a necessary condition for that authority to be granted, until Dec. 13 of that year. Romney was scheduled to leave office Jan. 4, 2007.

In other words, this was Mitt at his political posturing best. This isn’t proof of an epiphany. It’s proof that Mitt’s a political opportunist.

For those who say that there are other options besides Newt and Mitt, let’s examine their records, starting with Ron Paul. Dr. Paul’s position on immigration is certifiably insane. Remember the debate where he was asked about building a border fence? His reply was in question form: “How do we know that they won’t use the fence to keep us in?”

Michele Bachmann passes the purity test but she hasn’t shown any interest in reforming the visa program. She hasn’t shown that she’s given it a moment of thought. In that respect, she isn’t as informed on the total immigration package as Newt is.

While securing the border is important, it isn’t the only immigration consideration. It’s the total package. And by that, I don’t mean a ‘Grand Bargain’ type of “comprehensive immigration reform.” That’s just the Left’s euphemism for amnesty and new Democrat voters.

I’m talking about immigration that’s fierce about protecting America’s sovereignty while welcoming immigrants into our nation who’ve passed through a sane, efficient federal system.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Fred Thompson said it best when he said that “the United States should be a nation of tall fences and wide gates.”

Michele, Newt and Rick Perry all appear to pass that test with ease. Mitt and Dr. Paul don’t pass that test. Meanwhile, Newt appears to be the only candidate who’s thought through his position on streamlining the visa process.

That’s important because streamlining the visa programs would shrink the need for people to illegally enter the country. (I think Mitt refers to that as eliminating the magnets.)

The bottom line is this: None of the GOP presidential candidates pass both the purity test on immigration and the streamlining the visa program test. Of all the GOP presidential candidates, I’d trust Newt’s immigration plan the most, followed by Rick Perry’s, then Michele’s.

I wouldn’t trust Dr. Paul’s or Mitt Romney’s. I wouldn’t trust Dr. Paul’s because it’s beyond bizarre. I wouldn’t trust Mitt’s because he’s prone to saying one thing, then doing the opposite.

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One Response to “GOP immigration purity test”

  • J. Ewing says:

    What’s crazy is that Newt hasn’t suggested anything that doesn’t already exist. Those illegal immigrants who have been in this country 25 years or more would have been eligible for complete amnesty under Reagan in 1986 – 25 years ago. More worthy of note is that we were supposedly going to build a fence, build up security and reform the visa system then, yet here we are.

    The plan I like best has us building a fence and patrolling it thoroughly. While that is being built we will require all employers to access the E-verify system and certify that all of their workers are here legally. Any that are not will be required to exit the US and come back in through the “wide door” if and only if they have a job and sponsor waiting, and register. This ends the magnet effect. What we do with these “guest workers” we can figure out another time (I’m against the whole idea, but reality bites).

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