Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House who led the Republican revolution of the last decade, is blasting the the lack of control at America’s borders as “absurd.”

“I don’t think we’re stepping up to the plate on a whole series of big challenges, and [the border] is one of them,” Gingrich said yesterday on Sean Hannity’s national radio show. “You can’t have the director of central intelligence, Porter Goss, testify publicly to the Congress that he’s genuinely afraid that a weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear weapon, is going to come across the border, and then do nothing about it. I think it’s absurd.”

Gingrich is urging people to contact federal lawmakers and urge them to take the matter seriously.

“It’s not a Republican issue or Democrat issue,” Gingrich said. “Everybody said after 9-11, ‘Oh my gosh, why didn’t they warn us?’ Now you’ve had the director of central intelligence say as plainly and as clearly as anyone could say that a weapon could come across either the Canadian or Mexican border in a truck or a car, [which] could take out a good part of a city. I think we should be reacting to that. I think we should be making a national security investment in gaining control of our border.”

The Republican from Georgia, who developed the Contract With America plan, said laws should be changed to deport people who are in the U.S. illegally within 72 hours. He also suggested a green card program for honest workers, involving some sort of biometric identifier such as an iris scan, and he expressed support for the Minuteman Project.

“I’m very sympathetic with the volunteers who are trying to help the Border Patrol. I think before anybody in government criticizes them, they ought to fund the Border Patrol strong enough and robust enough to have control of the border.”

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