"The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here," Romney said.
Twitter went crazy. The joke theme: Self-deporation? So I speed through a school zone. What to do? Pull over and write myself a ticket.
Joking aside, the debate over illegal immigration, the DREAM Act (allowing children brought to the United States illegally by their parents to become legalized U.S. residents) was more nuanced.
Here's the exchange, including National Journal correspondnt Beth Reinhard's question about the sensitive DREAM Act issue:
REINHARD: Speaker Gingrich, I want to move on to a slightly different topic, the Dream Act, which, as you know, would provide a pathway to citizenship for children who have been brought to the U.S. illegally if they attend college or enroll in the military.
Now, Governor Romney and Senator Santorum have both said they would veto this legislation. Would you do the same?
GINGRICH: No. I would work to get a signable version which would be the military component. I think any young person living in the United States who happened to have been brought here by their parents when they were young should have the same opportunity to join the American military and earn citizenship which they would have had from back home.
We have a clear provision that if you live in a foreign country, and you are prepared to join the American military, you can, in fact, earn the right to citizenship by serving the United States and taking real risk on behalf of the United States. That part of the Dream Act I would support. I would not support the part that simply says everybody who goes to college is automatically waived for having broken the law.
WILLIAMS: The questioning continues.
To be continued ....