The Other McCain

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BOOM! Michele Bachmann Publishes Gingrich’s 2004 Pro-Amnesty Letter

Posted on | November 26, 2011 | 64 Comments

Michele Bachmann today offered what she called “more evidence indicating that Newt Gingrich is the most liberal GOP candidate,” in a press release that cites a pro-amnesty letter Gingrich signed in 2004.

The Gingrich letter, sponsored by the neoconservative National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), called for President Bush to offer a “new path” via guest-worker arrangements and to “recognize that those already working here outside the law are unlikely to leave.” The letter was co-authored by longtime pro-immigration activist Tamar Jacoby and originally published Feb. 6, 2004, in the Wall Street Journal.

“This letter is a clear indication that Speaker Gingrich has a deep history of supporting amnesty,” Bachmann said in the press release, sent to national media Saturday shortly after noon ET. “I don’t agree that you should make 11 million workers legal because that in effect is amnesty and will only encourage more illegal immigrants to come here.”

Gingrich has been under fire on the immigration issue since a debate Tuesday, when he proposed granting permanent U.S. residency to illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for 25 years. Gingrich’s rival Mitt Romney slammed Gingrich’s proposal as amnesty, as did influential Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Jacoby is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute who has been called an “open-borders advocate” favoring amnesty for illegal aliens. In addition to Gingrich and the late Jack Kemp, other prominent signers of Jacoby’s NFAP letter included Linda Chavez, Francis Fukuyama and Grover Norquist, as well as former Bachmann adviser Ed Goeas.


64 Responses to “BOOM! Michele Bachmann Publishes Gingrich’s 2004 Pro-Amnesty Letter”

  1. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    Newt stated his position on immigration.

    Bachmann elucidated what that position is.

    Both of them demonstrated that they are in complete opposition to the rule of law on the issue (the Supreme Law of the Land says that the federal government has zero, zip, zilch, nada authority on the subject).

    But Gingrich’s position — both as he articulates it and as Bachmann alleges it — is at least closer to what the Supreme Law of the Land dictates, to the position that served the US well for its first 90 years or so de jure and its first 170 or so de facto, and is at least a little less morally reprobate, economically idiotic and flagrantly anti-American than the positions of most of the rest of the GOP field.

  2. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    The “law of the land” has never been to grant amnesty (excluding Reagan’s and Newt’s amnesty).

    Your willingness to revise history is amusing.

  3. ThePaganTemple
    November 27th, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Knapster, why do you insist on embarrassing yourself with this promotion of open borders? Even assuming you are right, none of our past or present immigration policies has, so far as I know, ever been challenged in court, or if they have they have never made it as far as SCOTUS. Until such time as they are, you can maintain they are unconstitutional all you like, but from a purely legal standpoint, this is as yet to be determined, or for that matter contested. If the day ever comes that our immigration laws do face a court challenge I can almost guarantee you that would be the fasted constitutional amendment ever adopted and would likely break all speed records. Shit that would be the NASCAR of constitutional amendments.

  4. Lady Liberty 1885
    November 27th, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Michele Bachmann is beginning to worry me. Either she has zero grasp on Illegal Immigration issues, she hates Gingrich for personal reasons or she’s just a liar. It could be all three.

    I don’t see anywhere in said letter Gingrich praises or promotes Amnesty. Period.

    It’s time Mrs. Bachmann departs the Presidential stage, in my opinion.

  5. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 9:59 am


    It’s pretty simple: If you want the federal government to regulate immigration, get a constitutional amendment to make that permissible — or at least stop the hypocritical quacking about “rule of law.”

    Right now, the Constitution not only does not enumerate any such power, it specifically prohibits it.

    It’s a matter that was intentionally left to the states. Period. End of story. Everything above and beyond that is judicial activism bullshit that “conservatives” would be raising the roof over if it was “liberals” pulling it.

  6. ThePaganTemple
    November 27th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    Knappster even if you are technically correct about the federal government’s rights to regulate immigration, or lack thereof, what you are overlooking is the present emergency nature of the border and immigrant situation. The federal government not only has a right, it has a duty to promote the general welfare and provide for a common defense of our land, and our current situation falls well within the purview of both when it comes to our immigration policies, to the point where there’s not even a real conflict.

  7. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    It outlined amnesty.  Just because the word “amnesty” does not appear does not eradicate the fact that is exactly what they were talking about. 

    It is like when politicians use the word “revenue.”  Even though they don’t mention the word “taxes,” what they are referring to is increased taxation.

  8. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 10:45 am


    I’m not sure what you mean by “emergency” in the context of immigration.

    Last time I looked, Mexican immigrants were supposedly leaving the US on net. I don’t claim to know whether or not the negative economic impact that exodus has constitutes an “emergency” or not, although we’ll all certainly feel it in our wallets in terms of increased food price and reduced immigrant subsidies to the native American middle class welfare state.

    In terms of “national security,” Know-Nothing immigration policies are a clear and present danger, and reasonably “open border” policies are the only position consistent with a reasonable national defense.

  9. ThePaganTemple
    November 27th, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    He proposes giving a specific subset of illegal immigrants, those who have been here a specified period of time (25 years is his recommendation but once it is debated and voted in the Congress who knows whether it will be that, or ten years or five) legal status. If that doesn’t qualify as amnesty, maybe you need to think about the definition of the word, because that’s exactly what it is. Amnesty doesn’t necessarily have to entail citizenship. It could mean that, or it could just mean they would no longer be considered liable for the breaking of the very laws they broke in coming here illegally.

  10. ThePaganTemple
    November 27th, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    @knappster:disqus  There’s more involved than merely migrant farm workers. There are also organized criminal gangs, people who engage in kidnapping, extortion, gun and drug smuggling, and human trafficking, and who have committed crimes of violence, including but not limited to rape, child molestation, and murder. Again, these are in many cases organized criminals, and Congress has a duty to provide for the common defense against all enemies foreign and domestic. For that reason alone the government has both a right and a duty to control the borders and regulate immigration. The founders were not familiar with the concept of organized crime outside of possibly very localized areas. But it is a very real danger, and this is not even taking into account the dangers of Islamic radicals who could cross our borders into our country as easily as anyone else, if not in quite the same numbers.

    You might not think of organized criminal gangs as an invading force, and I understand that position, but make no mistake about it, they damn sure think of themselves that way.

    And yes, there is a real danger of our social services being overrun and breaking down from the weight of what amounts to a mass invading horde in its own right. It is American taxpayers whose money goes into supporting these programs, which provides yet another inherent right of the federal government to regulate who and how many benefits from them. How exactly this can be done without regulating who comes and goes into and out of the country remains unclear, but there is a right and a need to do so so long as they avail themselves of these services.

  11. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm


    The thing is, current immigration laws tend to exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the problems you describe.

    Human trafficking — by which I assume you mean schemes such as forced prostitution and such — is a “value added” profit center for “coyotes” precisely because they are already in the business of smuggling millions of humans across the border each year.

    If young Esmeralda can come walking up to the gate at El Paso and get right in, the “coyote” never has her in his power in the first place, and therefore doesn’t have the opportunity to lock her in a basement and rent out her body once he’s smuggled her in.

    The interactions with respect to drugs, etc. are probably less one-sided, but I assume that some “coyotes” end up working with the cartels and pressing immigrants into working as drug mules (I’m leaving my opposition to the drug laws out of this, except to note that US drug policy practically begs for Mexican involvement — methamphetamine use to be made in Missouri; now that getting pseudoephedrine is hard, much of it’s made in Mexico and smuggled in; and so forth).

    The “coyotes” are a big national security danger. When they’re smuggling in millions a year, an al Qaeda operative carrying a suitcase nuke can hide in the crowd. Get rid of the crowd, and the “coyotes” go into another line of business, because waiting around hoping an al Qaeda operative with a suitcase nuke shows up to be smuggled in isn’t a business model.

  12. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    Doh — missed this the first time around:

    “And yes, there is a real danger of our social services being overrun and breaking down from the weight of what amounts to a mass invading horde in its own right. It is American taxpayers whose money goes into supporting these programs”

    Bzzt. Thanks for playing. “Illegal” immigrants pay more per capita in net taxes, and consume less per capita in “government benefits,” than the native population. They subsidize your “social services.” Even though Social Security is on track to bankruptcy, grandma will get her Social Security checks just a little bit longer because Pedro pays in (using a fake SSN) for the “privilege” of making her grapes, lettuce, oranges, lawn care and home cheaper, but doesn’t draw out.

    Personally I hate that — I’d rather those programs collapsed under the weight of native greed — but I don’t hate it badly enough to sacrifice freedom of immigration to put a stop to it.

  13. Daily scoreboard « Don Surber
    November 27th, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    […] From Robert Stacy McCain: “Michele Bachmann Publishes Gingrich’s 2004 Pro-Amnesty […]

  14. Nancys
    November 27th, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

    Gov. Perry is the only candidate who has the record to prove who can secure our boarder and deal with our immigration issues.