All he said was, “Let’s be humane in enforcing the law.” That was my reaction last night when Newt Gingrich argued that the federal government should refrain from deporting illegal immigrants who had been in the U.S. for many years if the effect would be the break up of a family.
I did not take him to be proposing a new law conferring amnesty. To do what the former Speaker proposed would require no change in U.S. law. All you’d need is the sensible application of prosecutorial discretion.
A successful immigration enforcement policy, easily implemented under current law, would secure the borders; use the capability we have to track aliens who enter on visas to ensure that they don’t overstay; and target our finite law enforcement resources at (a) illegal immigrants who violate federal or state criminal laws (i.e., other than the laws against illegal entry), and (b) employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens and therefore provide the incentive that induces them to come. (An even better policy would deny illegal immigrants various social welfare benefits, but some of that would involve changes in the law so I put it to the side for present purposes.)
Such a policy would materially reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. — if they can’t work, many will leave and many won’t come in the first place. Such a policy would also call on government lawyers to exercise discretion (as they do in all aspects of law-enforcement) to decide which cases are worth prosecuting. Obviously, if an alien has been here illegally for a number of years but has been essentially law-abiding (again, ignoring the fact that it is illegal for him to reside and work in the U.S.), and if his deportation would have the effect of ripping apart an intact, law-abding family, you don’t bring that case. Such a case is not worth the Justice Department’s time when there are plenty of more serious criminals, including more serious immigration offenders, to pursue.
“I think this Super Committee is about as dumb an idea as Washington has come up with in my lifetime.”
“I used to run the House of Representatives, I have some general notion of these things. The idea that 523 senators and congressman are going to sit around for 4 months while 12 brilliant people — mostly picked for political reasons — are going to sit in some room and brilliantly come up with $1 trillion, or force us to choose between gutting our military and accepting a tax increase is irrational.”
“They’re going to walk in just before Thanksgiving and say ‘Alright, we can shoot you in the head or cut off your right leg, which do you prefer?’”
“What they oughta do is scrap the committee right now, recognize it’s a dumb idea, go back to regular legislative business, assign every subcommittee the task of finding savings, do it out in the open through regular legislative order, and get rid of this secret phony business.”
The latest NH Journal poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted by Magellan Strategies shows Romney and Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the January 10th primary. If the election were held today, Romney would earn 29% of the vote and Gingrich would earn 27%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to show resolve by earning 16%. Herman Cain gets 10%. No other candidate is in double digits.