Gingrich on Immigration: The Fallout

Much about last night's GOP debate on foreign policy and national security was downright scary. Unless, that is, you think breaking of relations with Pakistan (Perry), or deporting 11 million immigrants (Bachmann), or using torture (all but Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman), or profiling Muslims (Santorum), or knowing next to nothing about the facts on the ground in any number of countries (Cain), are just fine thoughts to have in the mind of a future President.

But, what is quickly becoming the focus of the conservative blogosphere was what I considered the most redeeming moment of the evening: Newt Gingrich said that he did not support deporting all undocumented workers. 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,” he said Tuesday. “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 they are not separated by their families.’” It was hard not to listen to Gingrich and think that his conversion to Catholicism has had something to do with his articulation of the issue.

But, Gingrich's opponents were quick to tar him with the charge of supporting amnesty. Politico has the round down of comments from Bachmann and Romney and the rest. In August, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended his support for his state's version of the DREAM Act, his numbers began to tank. We will see if something similar happens to Gingrich and, if so, whether or not the former Speaker amends his position. If he sticks to his guns, kudos to Gingrich. If he gets penalized for doing so at the ballot box, we will have learned all we need to know about the shallowness of the claims of the GOP to be the "pro-family" party.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

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