Phil Gingrey goes to border, calls Latinos his "favorite aliens"

The anti-immigration Republican wants you to know that it's not personal

Published February 9, 2011 4:10PM (EST)


Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., went on a "fact-finding mission" to the U.S.-Mexico border with (among others) Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. And if any two members of Congress could stand to find some facts, it's those two. Here is one fact that Gingrey found: He loves Mexicans. He really does!

While Gingrey wants to end birthright citizenship and then I guess deport all the American-born or American-raised children whose parents couldn't get a green card (which is many of them), it is not because he hates our neighbors to the south.

"It's not xenophobia on my part. If I had to choose from immigrants across the globe, my favorite alien would be our Hispanic and Latino residents coming from across the Southern border," Rep. Gingrey said.

See? If Gingrey had to choose between immigrants, for ... some reason (softball team?), he would choose Hispanics and Latinos every time. (Sorry, Irish people!) But he is not here to "choose" immigrants. He is here to find out facts about them in order to deport them more easily.

If Gingrey is still interested in finding facts, Reason Magazine put together a lovely Terry Colon-illustrated chart in 2008 explaining how broken our immigration and naturalization process is [.pdf], especially for Gingrey's "favorite" immigrants. And if birthright citizenship was somehow ended, it would become even more difficult. (Green card wait time for an "unskilled" immigrant without family in the U.S. "approaches infinity.")

Republicans are expressing a surprising amount of love for immigrants from south of the border these days. After Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason said "illegal immigration will destroy a community" and told Republicans to "empty the clip, and do what has to be done," he explained that he did not literally mean that people should go out and shoot Mexicans to death, with guns. Progress!

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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