LatinaLista — Though the GOP presidential nominees have gone out of their way to let the low-income, voters of color, LGBT, feminists, ininsured and undocumented immigrants know that they won't have a friend in the White House if elected, there was one nominee who showed some hope for Latinos, and other disenfranchised voters — Newt Gingrich.
[caption id="attachment_14910" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich discussed his plan for getting America back on track at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, Wednesday. (Staff photo by Union Leader photographer Paula Tracy)"][/caption]
Regardless of the baggage he is said to have by his critics, he's the only one on stage who comes across as a thoughtful individual who can filter reason from hysteria. That's until he gets into a Mexican restaurant.
Over the weekend, Gingrich held a "Hispanic outreach" event at Don Quijote’s Mexican Restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire. While there, he wanted to remind those in attendance of his contrarian view regarding undocumented immigrants compared to his competitors, as well as, his party.
“We have to end the period of having people in the shadows,” he said. “It’s bad for the country, it’s bad for the people, it leads them to get excluded, it is dangerous. It means those that need help are afraid to show up and ask for it. So I want to find a path that gets us to a system where four or five years from now 99.99 percent of everybody in the United States is here legally and we’re comfortable with it.”
Gingrich went on to say that he wouldn't commit himself, like Obama, to passing immigration reform in the first 100 days. Rather, he wants to do it bit by bit. It's actually probably a smarter move since trying to get the GOP and unsympathetic Democrats to swallow a whole immigration reform bill pill always seems to gag them and eventually it gets tossed back up.
Gingrich was making sense until he reminded people that his criteria for allowing people to stay was that they had to be here at least 25 years. Anyone knows that community roots are established in as little as three years.
Then someone asked him about the DREAM Act, the bill that would grant citizenship to those who were brought to this country as children or teens, attended school here and displayed good, moral character and have known no other place as home than the United States.
In response, Gingrich said:
“There are parts of it I like,” Gingrich said today of the immigration measure, explaining that he supports granting a path to citizenship to young people who enlist in the military, but not to minors who attend college.
So, Gingrich would rather have all these undocumented youth, of whom the majority are Latino, be forced to enlist in the military to gain their citizenship though the former Speaker of the House never enlisted in the military himself.
He would force those who have no desire to be in the military but have all the desire to be this country's next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Barack Obama or Mark Zuckerberg, and who can't wait to start learning and innovating, put their dreams on indefinite hold (again) or dashed altogether to serve in a branch of government that even he wouldn't volunteer for?
Talk about hypocrisy.
Gingrich's thinking basically takes a chapter out of a bad science fiction movie that mandates the lowest class of a society to be the warriors. And in every science fiction movie I ever saw where this happens, the warriors are seen as the ones with the less brains, the most looked down upon by society and most of all — the most expendable.
It's a bad, bad call and shameful that Gingrich would propose something like that — and to think he inspired so many with esperanza.