Newt Gingrich’s discussion of a program to grant some illegal immigrants “red card” permanent residency without a path to citizenship —a proposal, incidentally, well to the right of President Bush and the earlier John McCain —drew a swift pile-on from Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, who issued him the scarlet “A” for amnesty.

But what, then, will they do with those millions of people, some of whom Gingrich would let stay? A Republican sympathetic to Gingrich’s position points out that they’ve each gestured, one way or another, toward … what would no doubt get called amnesty if they raised it on a debate stage. Romney, as always, is the easiest target, with a 2007 statement on “Meet the Press”:

My own view is, consistent with what you saw in the Lowell Sun, that those people who have come here illegally, and are in this country, the 12 million or so that are here illegally, should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship…

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