CNN's Wolf Blitzer asks GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to elaborate on his stance on immigration. A highlight from the interview is after the jump and a full transcript is posted at CNN.com
Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Highlight from Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": You and I last night did talk about what to do with the 11 million or 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Assume, Mr. Speaker, the border is secure, no problem with the border. What do you do with the 11 million or 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States?
FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:Well, I think if you have a secure border, if you've established that English is the official language of government, if you have a requirement for learning history in order to be an American, and American history to be an American citizen, and if you have an effective guest worker program, which means it's probably been outsourced to American Express, Visa or MasterCard, because they know how to stop fraud, at that point, I think you've got to look at a new and much more creative solution for the people who are here.
I've suggested looking at the World War II Selective Service boards.
Some people here ought to go home. Some people here, frankly, are engaged in criminal activity and they ought to go home immediately.
Other people, day workers, no ties to the U.S., probably should go home.
But you have somebody who's been here 20, 25 years, they've been obeying the law, they've been paying taxes, they're married, they've got three kids, two grandkids, they're a member of your church, I think the local community's going to say - not give them citizenship, that would be wrong, but we need to find a path to enable them to be engaged legally in working and living in America within a framework that does not jump over everybody else who has been waiting, but that does recognize that that person has real ties here, and that there be a greater human cost to tearing them out of the fabric of a society in which they've invested 20 or 25 years.
I think we need local boards that apply a human approach to trying to deal with this with some sympathy, but that's also very tough with criminals and very tough with people that have no ties to the U.S. and should go back home immediately.