By calling for a watered down version of amnesty, Newt reminded conservatives last night why he is not the right man for the job. Up until then he had done a good job of convincing people to forget he is a man of low moral character, decidedly non-constitutional, and an embracer of establishment Republican policies that are bad for this country. In a state like Iowa, that has been hard hit by illegal immigration, Newt killed any chance he has of taking the state.
Many Newt supporters will try and say that what Newt is calling for is not amnesty, that it is compassion. Conservatives understand how difficult it will be on families if someone's parents or grandparents are deported. But it is important to remember that these people broke the law. They knowingly took the risk of deportation and breaking up their families to come here in the hopes of benefitting from our welfare state and higher wages.
If those people are deported, they must look to themselves to blame for breaking up their family. By offering them a chance to remain here legally, you only encourage further illegal immigration. You tell the world's poor that if you can get here, if you can remain hidden long enough, have a few kids, join a church, you are home free.
It's no different than the signals we send the world with regards to nuclear weapons. We go on and on about not letting countries like Iran have nukes. But once they do get a nuke, like N. Korea, we leave them alone. Meanwhile, when countries like Libya come forward and say they want to work with the US, open up their doors to inspectors, and disband all efforts to get nukes, we reward them by invading their country and overthrowing their government a few years later.
The world has lost faith in our government. We rarely stand behind our word and we refuse to enforce our immigration laws. We've become a joke. Newt's plan simply reinforce that perception.