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2004 Letter Affirmed Newt Gingrich's Commitment to Amnesty for Illegals

A 2004 letter signed by Newt Gingrich affirmed and previewed his left-wing position on illegal immigration.

In the letter, Gingrich supports the idea that "keeping a door open to those with the 'will and heart to get here' is vital to our economy, our culture, our role in the world, and our historic tradition as a land of freedom and opportunity."

In signing the letter, Gingrich called on others to "recognize that those already working here outside the law are unlikely to leave."

The former House speaker echoed those sentiments at last Tuesday's national security debate, when he called for a "humane" policy of accommodating illegal aliens who have been in the United States "for a number of years."

Michele Bachmann called Gingrich's letter another "clear indication that Speaker Gingrich has a deep history of supporting amnesty," He previously voted for an amnesty program that awarded legal status to millions of undocumented aliens in the 1980s.

Since then, and subsequent to his leaving office, another large-scale amnesty program was enacted under the guise of "immigration reform."

Speaking of the current situation, Bachmann said, "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.

"You don't come into this country illegally and get a special pathway to stay here," Bachmann said. "This type of amnesty will only encourage other illegals to enter our country illegally," said Bachmann, who received the highest rating from NumbersUSA for Lower Immigration and was the first to sign the "Americans for Securing the Border" pledge.

The pledge calls for construction of a border fence, a commitment to securing the border, unequivocally opposes amnesty, and demands enforcement of existing immigration laws while ending magnets like taxpayer-supported tuition benefits that bring illegal immigrants into the country.

By contrast, Gingrich's co-signed letter, titled "Conservative Statement of Principles on Immigration," called on Congress in 2004 to "fulfill its role by establishing sufficient increases in legal immigration and paths to permanent residence to enable more workers to stay, assimilate and become part of America."

The letter was signed by 14 others: Stuart Anderson, executive director, National Foundation for American Policy; Jeff Bell, principal, Capital City Partners; Linda Chavez, president, Center for Equal Opportunity; Larry Cirignano, president, Catholic Alliance/; Cesar V. Conda, former assistant for domestic policy to Vice President Cheney and board member of Empower America; Francis Fukuyama, dean of faculty, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; Richard Gilder, Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC; Ed Goeas, president and CEO, the Tarrance Group; Tamar Jacoby, senior fellow, the Manhattan Institute; Jack Kemp, 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee, former congressman and co-director of Empower America; Steve Moore, senior fellow, Cato Institute; Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform; Richard W. Rahn, senior fellow, Discovery Institute; and former Wyoming Sen. Malcolm Wallop.

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