My law school roommate, a brilliant student who later became a successful lawyer before retiring to engage in philanthropic activites, is named Newt. In the 1990's, he asked his friends to stop calling him Newt and to use his different middle name instead. Of course, everyone understood, and we all commiserated with him for having such an unfortunate first name.

Eventually, as Newt Gingrich faded from the headlines, and seemed to be fading into history (the footnote to, department), my former roommate started using his first name again. As a lifelong Democrat, I believe that my friend Newt can be proud to use his first name again after the Tuesday, November 22 Republican presidential debate.

At the debate, Gingrich said "I don't see the party that says its 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."

Is this a perfect formula for immigration reform? No. Should someone have to be in the US for 25 years to be eligible for relief from deportation? Of course not. But Gingrich made clear that the racist Republican agenda of deporting 11 million people to gain the support of anti-Latino white voters will be off the table if he becomes president. It shows that his heart, and brain (something that few, if any, of his Republican adversaries possess) are in the right place. It also shows that he has respect for reality. Of course, his opponents pounced on him for daring to mention humanity in the same sentence with immigration. Talk about alligators in the moat.

It is about time that someone talked about humanity in immigration. We have had too many other "H" words on immigration from our leaders - Hate from Republicans and Hypocrisy from Barack Obama and his cynical, cowardly, crew of White House Deportocrats, who issue empty memos about "prosecutorial discretion" while continuing to break up families and send record numbers of people back without letup. Bravo, Newt!