Yahoo Watch: Cong. Gingrey

by Michael Sean Winters

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Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey was on MSNBC’s “Hardball” last night, supporting the idea of obliterating the Fourteenth Amendment to deny the constitutional guarantee of citizenship to those born here if their parents are illegal immigrants.

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Cong. Gingrey’s entire performance was pretty pathetic, but his most outrageous claim was that when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, in 1868, immigration was not much of an issue. He said that there were 6,000 immigrants over a ten-year period. Huh?

Has this guy ever heard of the “Great Hunger” in Ireland? Between 1845 and 1855, some 1.5 million Irish men and women came to our shores, and the numbers did not drop significantly after the Civil War. Between 1851 and 1921, some 3.7 million Irish came to America. So, which ten year period witnessed only 6,000 immigrants? It is a shame that Hardball host Chris Matthews did not call out Gingrey for this gross mis-statement of U.S. history. It would also be worth finding out just how many “anchor babies” there are? I can think of one child of immigrants who was born in the U.S., only to return to his parents’ native country soon after, before returning to the U.S. as a young man: James Cardinal Gibbons.

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