Huckstering Huckabee
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Yesterday I expressed skepticism about Mike Huckabee’s credentials as an Immigration reform patriot. As it happens Huckabee addressed the issue on Friday in Iowa. ( Huckabee discusses immigration during Iowa visit By JOSH NELSON Saturday, April 28 2007)

To an experienced eye, it is clear Huckabee’s commitment to repairing America’s immigration disaster is thin and cosmetic. ( italics)

Huckabee tried to shore up his credibility on the issue, which ranks at the top of Republican voters' concerns, while speaking to a crowd at an Iowa Christian Alliance fundraiser. He… said there needed to be a "common sense approach" to the issue.

That approach includes a physical fence in areas where it is needed and electronic monitoring in other areas, he said.

(This of course is the minimalist position usually adopted by those against the idea. Why not a full fence?)

While he said he is opposed to any plans for amnesty, he would like to see a path toward citizenship for people in the country.

(In other words, he wants the effect of Amnesty.)

"I just don't think it's realistic to say this weekend we're going to round up 12 to 20 million young people and their children…”

(This is the central tenet of pro immigration defeatist line. Those who know the history on immigration know that voluntary repatriation often reached 40% of any given immigration flow — but that was before the magnetism of America’s social programs took effect.)

Tellingly, Huckabee did not apparently mention the crucial issues of birthright citizenship, or the status of English.

Any inclination to give Huckabee the benefit of the doubt was completely eradicated by three devastating articles helpfully supplied by a reader (thanks, T.S.)

Huckabee promotes 'open door' policy at LULAC convention Thursday, June 30, 2005 By Wesley Brown Arkansas News Bureau

In a impassioned speech before hundreds of influential Hispanic civil rights leaders from across the nation, Gov. Mike Huckabee told a captive audience Wednesday that America is great because it has always opened it doors up to people seeking a better way of life… "Pretty soon, Southern white guys like me may be in the minority," Huckabee said jokingly as the crowd roared in laughter…He said Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity "in culture, in language and in population."

Immigration bill un-Christian, anti-life, governor says Friday, Jan 28, 2005 By Doug Thompson Arkansas News Bureau

Gov. Mike Huckabee Thursday denounced a bill by Sen. Jim Holt that would deny state benefits to illegal immigrants as un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life…Huckabee said he took exception to characterization of immigrants in the bill and by its supporters as exploiters of social programs….Something that's not worth sharing is not worth celebrating," Huckabee said. "This is the kind of country that opens its doors. This bill expresses an un-American attitude."

Governor Huckabee risks political fortunes to denounce immigration raid By Melissa Nelson Associated Press August 5 2005

Huckabee, a Baptist minister, said his support for the state's growing Hispanic population has to do with compassion, not politics…Hugo Juarez, deputy consul general for the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, called Huckabee a good friend of Mexicans and the Mexican government.

The governor's pro-immigrant stance was also praised by LULAC president Hector Flores, who called Huckabee's efforts for the children a testament to progress in racial attitudes.

"I marvel at the changes in a Southern state like Arkansas where the governor actually called out the troops to keep the schools from being integrated in 1957. What a turnaround and especially for it to come from a Republican," he said.

”What a turnaround” is right. But is Huckabee a ”good friend” of the American people? Not on this evidence.

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