Santorum: Divided families the price to pay for breaking law

At a recent campaign stop in Spencer, Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum fielded a number of questions related to immigration, and he articulated a position contrary to that of the current frontrunner, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

During a recent debate, Gingrich said that while he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents, deporting all the illegal immigrants currently in the country is unrealistic. He said, “I don’t see how 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.”

In Spencer, Santorum told the crowd that if families are separated due to deportation, that is the penalty for having broken the law. He said it is unrealistic to think that illegal immigrants break the law by coming to the country but then become perfectly law-abiding members of U.S. communities.

The Spencer Daily Reporter quoted Santorum as saying, “I understand Congresssman Gingrich saying, ‘Well, you know, people have been here and they’ve been good citizens and paying taxes.’ Yeah, under someone else’s Social Security number because you stole it.”

According to the Daily Reporter, Santorum also spoke out against policies enacted by the Obama administration to expand the rights of homosexuals, saying that such policies “change the basic value structure of our country to accommodate that lifestyle.”

In a December 9 column for the San Francisco Chronicle, Philip Hwang and Noemi Calonje praised Obama for a recent directive to federal agencies to consider foreign nations’ treatment of LGBT people when making decisions about aid disbursements, but said immigration law needs to be revised to safeguard the rights of LGBT people in the United States.

The column made the point that same-sex couples separated by deportation have little legal recourse. The authors also stated it is too difficult for LGBT immigrants to gain asylum in the United States, because U.S. immigration judges and other officials do not have a realistic appreciation of the dangers faced by homosexuals in many countries.