Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich alienated some in his party during the GOP debate last week by calling for a “humane” stance on immigration to avoid tearing up families. But the former House speaker has an ally in real estate mogul/reality TV star Donald Trump, The Hill
Trump told “Fox & Friends” today that Gingrich is "showing a lot of compassion" in his position. While Gingrich may have caused "considerable harm" for himself among conservative voters, his stance will help him with independent voters, Trump said. "With the overall electorate he did himself considerable good."
In the debate, Gingrich endorsed the idea of letting illegal immigrants without criminal records who pay their taxes and have families stay in the country.
“If you've come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home, period,” Gingrich said. “If you've been here 25 years, and you got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.”
Trump noted the narrow parameters of Gingrich's idea. He was "really talking about something where someone has been in the country for 25 years," Trump said. "I like what Newt is saying, to a certain extent. It’s a very limited thing."
Trump scoffed at criticism from Gingrich opponent Michele Bachmann and some others that he is simply offering "amnesty" to illegal immigrants.
"To a certain extent, to a certain limited number of people it’s amnesty, but how do you tell people who’ve been here for 25 years to get out," Trump said.
And Gingrich himself insists that his idea doesn’t equal amnesty. “I am not for amnesty for anyone. I am not for a path to citizenship for anybody who got here illegally,” he said at a campaign event last week.
Trump said he doubts that when push comes to shove Bachmann herself would kick out families who have been in the country for decades. "She wouldn't do it: She's a good person," he said.
"Go across the street, see that family. They’ve been producers for this country for 25 years. Their children are great producers. Throw them out of the country? I don’t think she could do it."
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