If Newt Gingrich is a "policy wonk" as his friends proclaim, he is a very lazy one. He should have read the Kriebel Foundation's "Red Card Solution" before endorsing it as a non-amnesty solution to our immigration conundrum.
The so-called Red Card Solution purports to create a new guest-worker program that solves all of our immigration problems. It strengthens border security, helps employers fill low-skilled jobs, bars criminals from participation and does all of this by "empowering the private sector" without use of taxpayer dollars. Maybe in the fine print it also wipes out the national debt.
The problem is, it does none of those things, and anyone who takes time to actually read the full 41-page "white paper" instead of the press handout will see this.
Buried deep in the proposal is a statement that ought to send a chill up the spine of any American who opposes amnesty. The plan makes endless statements that foreign nationals who participate in our work force through the Red Card non-immigrant visa are "on a totally separate track" from immigrants seeking citizenship. Yet, in the fine print the proposal admits that this is not actually true. Any worker could apply for a green card – and thus a path to citizenship – after completing several years in the program. The sole hitch? They could not go to the head of the line.
So, the Red Card program does not convey citizenship, but it does establish a legal path to citizenship for illegal aliens already in the country. Memo to Newt: That's not a back-door amnesty program, it's a front-door amnesty program.
A true "guest worker" program requires the worker to go home after completing the term of the work visa, but the Kriebel proposal does not do that. In the fine print, we learn that any worker can change jobs or renew the work permit indefinitely – and not by returning to their home country and reapplying, but by simply making a phone call to the private employment agency that issued the permit.
Does Newt Gingrich or any serious person really believe that after legalizing 10-20 million alien workers and welcoming them into our communities as legal workers, they would forever be kept in a legal limbo without a way to gain citizenship? The Red Card Solution is a dishonest non-solution on those grounds alone.
The press release version and the Helen Kriebel video are also deceptive in another respect. Kriebel implies that the program is aimed at assisting employers in recruiting foreign workers, but its real purpose is to allow the millions of illegal workers already in the U.S. to keep their current jobs after a quickie trip to a border "visa processing station."
The third joker in the Red Card deck is the laughable criminal background check that each foreign national will supposedly receive as part of the "job placement process." All applicants will be run through the FBI database and also the criminal database of their native country.
Now, pardon me, but I do have a question about this rigorous background check. How much do you trust the governments of Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, Vietnam, China, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan or Russia – to name a few – to maintain an accurate database free of corruption and bribes? Are those databases fingerprint-based to guard against fake names and aliases? And what crimes will be exempted from the background check after the ACLU and the American Immigration Lawyers Association finish their lobbying campaigns?
We can give the Kriebel proposal kudos for a few gems found buried in their plan as "background." They admit we need to eliminate the "birthright citizenship" misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment that gives automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens (and foreign students, business travelers and others). And they admit we have 15-20 million illegals in the U.S., not the ludicrously low U.S. Census estimate of 11.3 million.
The Gingrich endorsement of the misnamed Red Card Solution tells us how pathetically stupid the establishment GOP is in dealing with the immigration issue. It has learned nothing since the disastrous debate over the Bush-McCain amnesty proposals of 2006 and 2007. The so-called Red Card Solution is so fraught with loopholes and contradictions that after five-and-a-half years of alterations and refinements, it has yet to be introduced as legislation in Congress. The Secure Fence Act, passed by a Republican majority in the House in December of 2006 was sabotaged by later amendments – but who in Republican ranks is demanding it be implemented?
There is one non-amnesty strategy that has already proven that it works. In fact, it works so well it is continuously attacked by the open borders lobby and undermined by the Obama administration. That is "attrition through enforcement." Illegal aliens self-deport when denied access to jobs, and millions have gone home as jobs dry up in our recession.
Here's the bottom line. Any new guest worker program that offers legal status to illegal aliens without first securing the border is doomed to failure. Moreover, any plan that presumes competent and efficient enforcement of its complicated provisions before we have demonstrated we can enforce existing laws is not a proposal to be taken seriously.