Full Transcript: ABC News Iowa Republican Debate

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DIANE SAWYER: But, the Pew Center for Hispanic Center, as you know, has said that maybe 3.5 million people could come under the criteria that you laid out.

NEWT GINGRICH: I-- I don't think there's 3.5 million people who've been here 25 years.

DIANE SAWYER: But they're talking about people who have been here 15 years. 15 years.

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, I wasn't. They were. You used a number that doesn't relate to my proposal.

DIANE SAWYER: But, under the criteria that you have set out, do you have a threshold on the number of people you would consider before the review board?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, I-- that's why you have the citizen review panel. The per-- the person has to have been here 25 years, have genuine ties to the community, be a good citizen, and have an American family sponsor them. And they still don't get citizenship. This is not amnesty. They get residency. And they pay a penalty in order to get residency.

DIANE SAWYER: Okay, I'm gonna turn it to k-- to Governor Romney because we heard Speaker Gingrich say we're not gonna round people up and deport them. And I think at one point-- you said something similar in a meeting at Bloomberg that-- that they're not going to be tracking everybody down and moving them out. And yet, to our colleague David Muir-- wanna try to clarify something. You said, "You seem to indicate that people should go back home to their country." And in some cases it may mean as much as five years if they get at the back of the line or more. Are you saying-- how many people should be sent back home to their countries? Should they be tracked down to establish who they are, sent back home to their country?

MITT ROMNEY: I-- I believe that any time that we start talking about a-- a form of amnesty, whether it's technically amnesty or not, when we start talking about how people have been able to come here and stay illegally for some period of time, that they're gonna be able to stay here permanently and become a permanent resident of the United States with-- with rights to our education system, our health care system, and so forth, we will then create another magnet that draws people into our country illegally.

So, the right course for us is to, once again, talk about what you described. Secure the border. Once we do that, we can start talking about the 11 million or whatever number that may be that are in the country illegally. My own view is those 11-- 11 million people should register the fact that they're here in the country. They should be given some transition period of time to allow them to-- settle their affairs and then return home and get in the-- in line at the back of the line with everybody else that wants to come here.

Don't forget, when we talk about-- about-- the difficulty of people going home, there are millions of people who-- many of whom have relatives here in this country who are in line, who want to come here. I want to bring people into this country who have skill, experience, family here who want to draw them in. I do not want to do something. (NOISE) I do not want to do something which encourages another wave of illegal immigration. So, from my view-- viewpoint, the key-- the key measure is this: No favoritism for permanent residency or citizenship for those that have come here illegally.

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