GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s recent call for a “humane” path to immigration enforcement for undocumented immigrants does not seem to have hurt his poling numbers.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports today: ”A month before voting starts, Gingrich has established double-digit leads in some polls in the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina.”

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, two thirds of 10.2 million undocumented immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years. The Pew report adds that 35 percent of unauthorized adult immigrants have resided in the U.S. for 15 years or more, and 28 percent for 10 to 14 years.

The Journal Constitution adds  that Gingrich “hasn’t fully fleshed out his plan or set a minimum number of years for how long illegal immigrants must live here before they could be eligible for a path to legal status.”

Michael Smerconish, “a nationally syndicated radio host” attended a Gringrich event in Naples and wrote:

[Gingrich] said he favored a “sequencing” approach rather than comprehensive reform. He noted that the solution to those already here would come only after there had been completion of several prior steps, including gaining control of the border; making English the official language; ensuring that those who become citizens are knowledgeable about the history of our founding; improving the visa program; deporting criminals; and establishing a guest-worker program.

In mid-November, during the CNN GOP presidential debate focused on national security, Gingrich said, “I don’t see how the — the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, ‘Let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.’”

Smerconish adds that Gingrich said, “I do not think anybody should be eligible for citizenship,” adding that he supports “a certification to legality with no right to vote and no right to become an American citizen unless they go home and apply through the regular procedures back home and get in line behind everybody else who has obeyed the law.”

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