Newt Gingrich Says Legalization Program Should Involve Sending 12 Million Immigrants Back

gingrich_newtFormer Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on Jorge Ramos’ Sunday morning show, “Al Punto,” this weekend and suggested that the best way to deal with the 12 million undocumented workers currently living in the U.S. would be to convince them to go back to their home countries for a couple years in exchange for a temporary guest-worker visa:

RAMOS: Mr. Speaker, in your book, “Winning the Future,” you wrote, and I’m quoting, “everyone currently working in the United States illegally must return to their home country to apply for the worker visa program”…Is this realistic? Do you really think 12 million undocumented workers will voluntarily leave the United States?

GINGRICH: What I said was that we should have a program to have a legal guest-worker system. We should be very clear that we want to increase legal immigration…I think symbolically, you know, the McCain-Kennedy bill said you have to pay a $5,000 fine to the U.S. government. You can fly home, get the visa, and come back for less than $5,000. So you’re asking me — is it possible over a 2-3 year period that every person at some point go home and get the guest-worker permit — because you couldn’t do this in week. This would have to be a transition of 2-3 years. I think virtually everybody would it if they knew we were serious…

Ramos pressed Gingrich further to make sure he was serious:

RAMOS: Let me very clear about this, so you would actually ask 12 million undocumented people to voluntarily leave the United States so that they can become citizens?

GINGRICH: I’d ask them to go home, get the card, and come back. And again, how many people go home anyways on a regular basis?

In theory, Gingrich’s proposal sounds nice. In practice, his ideas spell a national nightmare.

To begin with, most undocumented immigrants don’t “go home on a regular basis.” In fact, most don’t go home at all because leaving the U.S. carries the high risk of not being able to get back in. Gingrich also doesn’t take into account what will happen to the millions of U.S. born children of immigrants or the vacant jobs and homes that would be left behind. He doesn’t provide any details on how exactly the U.S. government would be able to convince a population of immigrants who have feared few things more than deportation by federal immigration authorities that the government can suddenly be trusted overnight. Either way, it seems unlikely that a temporary worker visa that carries no promise of permanent residency or citizenship will serve as a strong incentive to uproot one’s entire family and return to an impoverished country for an undetermined number of years. Michele Waslin, Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center points out:

“Americans want a fair, practical solution. Expecting 12 million people — many of whom have lived and worked here for years and have US citizen children — to leave the U.S. and wait for a visa in a line that doesn’t currently exist seems rather farfetched.”

andreaDespite his English-only stance, Gingrich has started both a Spanish-language twitter feed and website. When asked if he plans on running in the 2012 presidential race, Gingrich said he will come back and talk about it in January of 2011.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress

Watch it:


  1. Brittancus says

    Don’t let down your guard on E-Verify?

    We settle more new immigrants annually, than any other country in the world.

    It’s our phone calls that can derail any thoughts of another AMNESTY? Fill their eardrums with public rage not to undermine E-Verify. WE WANT A PERMANENT FOR EVERYONE WHO COLLECTS A PAY CHECK! Today! As never before they are reacting and listening to millions of patriotic Americans and pro-sovereignty groups, in which E-Verify have become a solid foundation to identify and remove foreign labor. Taxpayers money should be spent on infrastructure, our own weak and sick, our veterans who are homeless, our unemployed and those who real immigrants who respect our laws. Until the inception of the Internet, Americans and legal residents had no way of communicating between ourselves. Now we can? Now we should use every means possible to elaborate, that we are well and truly seething, because they are siding with the globalists, money people, open border subversives.

    We are not bigots because we love our country and don’t want to turn into a third world society. We do not want to live in an OVERPOPULATED, congested land. We have been paying for years–illegal immigrant’s support, instead of the procurers–the businesses that employ them. Our charged voices have set-off a chain reaction amongst the Washington political masses, because we actually turned the tables on the anti-sovereignty, pro-illegal immigration organizations. They are building the original border fence as originally planned, not faulty short-cuts? But we have enemies who have ignored their oath of office and plan to weaken any amendments. As with the 1986 immigration AMNESTY law that was never broken, but disrupted and never enforced. Now they want another AMNESTY or immigration reform package.

    It was the politicians who caused the problem of between 13 to 20 million settling here and unable to support themselves. Lawmakers can now stew in their own juices, because we refuse–absolutely refuse, to be sold on another path to citizenship, as it will be yet another higher tax burden on taxpayers. California being just one of many Sanctuary States–that has produced massive budget deficit problems, cause by the huge influx of illegal poor living on state and federal welfare.

    Senators and Representatives aides are unhappy with the constant bombardment from millions of Americans, but they are the bridge that must be crossed everyday? No respite, no retreat? Keep up the pressure, till their ears bleed? Keep up the invaluable rumblings in the beltway at 202-224-3121 THAT THE POPULATION IS MAD AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! Learn who your enemy is and who your friends at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIALWATCH, CAPSWEB, HERITAGE FOUNDATION & AMERICANPATROL

    ATTENTION! Because of the massive payments to illegal immigrants in California, their is a petition. Google–TAXPAYER REVOLUTION. Very few newspapers will mention this activist petition. When is the American flag going to fly again in the once Golden state?

  2. GOPundit says

    Newt Gingrich doesn’t get his ass from his head. He simply wanted to sell his book to the rabid right wing nuts to make some money to pay for his mistresses.

    This man is not serious about the national situation on this matter of Immigration and how it affects its citizens and non-citizens alike including the economy as a whole. He has no grasp of the effect of his idea.

    No one should take this man nor his asinine ideas seriously. People like him have driven GOP as a national party to a regional party.

  3. Kevin Lynn says

    I subscribe to the findinds of the Jordan Commission:

    “. . . people who should get in do get in; people who should not get in are kept out; and people who are judged deportable are required to leave” [Commission (1997, p.59]. It cannot be said any better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *