In a debate earlier this week in South Carolina, Mitt Romney said he favors self-deportation of immigrants instead of a government-funded program that would round them up by the millions and send them home. As Fox News recently reported, Romney believes denying public benefits to immigrants would eventually force them to leave the country, which would cause “self-deportation” as he called it.
At the debate, Gingrich also spoke of border control and creating a guest worker program to handle the extreme influx of immigrants into our country. He also noted that serving the military could provide a pathway to citizenship for an illegal immigrant’s child, but simply completing college should not grant citizenship.
Gingrich also said in reference to Romney’s tax return information, “You have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatically $20 million income for no work to have some fantasy this far from reality… For Romney to believe that somebody’s grandmother is going to be so cut off that she is going to self-deport, I mean this is an Obama-level fantasy.”
However, Romney’s campaign director informed reporters of past comments of Gingrich’s spokesperson R.C. Hammond about his immigration policy. He claimed that only a small number of illegal immigrants would stay under Gingrich’s plan, and that the vast majority of them would inevitably choose self-deportation.
As the Republicans head to Florida, where immigration is a hot button issue with Cuba only 90 miles of its shores, the nation can expect more mud slinging to come in the immigration debate.
Immigration was not the only thing on the minds of voters at the debate though. The moderator Jorge Ramos took an opportunity to attack Gingrich’s martial record. He asked Gingrich whether or not he thought it was hypocritical for him to have criticized then-President Bill Clinton about his marital infidelity while he was also cheating on his own wife.
Gingrich responded that what bothered him most was that Clinton lied under oath.
As Gingrich said, “the fact is I’ve been through two divorces. I’ve been deposed both times under oath… Both times I told the truth in the deposition. I have never lied under oath. I have never committed perjury.”