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November 23, 2011

Gingrich's Daft Immigration "Solution"

Gingrich proposes, goofilly, that we'll have "Community Boards" to decide on whether or not illegal immigrants within specific communities will be granted amnesty or deported.

For starters, it is very odd to say that ordinary citizens will essentially be elevated to the position of judge -- without any sort of standards binding their decisions -- to essentially grant illegal immigrants an immunity from the operation of the law, or to order them deported.

That's a strange thing, to elevate citizens to essentially act as courts, imposing judgments and penalties, or granting government benefits, without some kind of court-like structure, procedure, and guidance in decision-making.

Newt would call this a "radical, transformative solution that shows a fundamental empowerment of the citizenry" or whatever. I call it daffy.

I also call it, in actual practice, amnesty for 95% of all illegal immigrants. Because only, say, 5% of illegal immigrants settle in red areas. 95% are either in sanctuary citizens -- dominated by liberals, which will then have liberal "Community Boards," which will then grant amnesty because they want them voting for liberals -- or liberal-leaning areas. Okay, probably less than 95% of illegal immigrants settle in liberal areas, but they will quickly move to liberal areas once they understand that "Community Boards" will deport them (conservative) or grant them amnesty (liberal).

And then, having secured amnesty, they'll move back to the red areas. Because now they're citizens (or at least have legal authorization to be present in the US) and are permitted to move freely about the country.

Newt intends this as some outside-the-box radical transformative solution or whatever blah-blah he applies to his supposedly "cutting edge" ideas.

In fact, it's as daffy as it appears at first. Maybe daffier.

At best, it's a dodge, permitting Gingrich to not really take a position on the matter, but instead punt the decision to his fellow citizens. He can claim this is some kind of transformative empowerment (blah-blah), but really he's abdicating his own responsibility for a clear articulation of his own position.

One of the most famous dodges in politics is to take no position on a contentious issue but instead announce support for a All Star Blue Ribbon Commission to study the issue and make decisions. Obama is quite fond of this, you've probably noticed.

Gingrich's proposal is the exact same dodge, except instead of one great big national blue-ribbon commission, he wants to punt the issue to 30,000 small, local commissions. Which might sound all federalistic and local-control-y but in fact they'd all be making wildly different decisions, without any consistent standards.

And, as I already pointed out, illegal immigrants would just game the system by moving to the blue areas where they know the Commmunity Boards would give them amnesty.

The knock on Gingrich is that he has ten ideas a day, five possibly good, five obviously bad, and can't distinguish between the two types. (Actually I'd complain differently: He has ten ideas a day, one possibly good, four that sound good on a superficial level but in fact are just campaign-trail chum without substance or usefulness, and five which are bad.)

This seems to be one of those bad ideas, and even though most people tried to tell him it was a bad idea months ago when he first started floating it, he still seems to think it's a great idea.

It's not. It's dumb.

It is, as they say, something so dumb only an intellectual could believe it.


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posted by Ace at 12:53 PM

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