Skip to comments.Huckabee risks political fortunes to denounce immigration raid
Posted on 08/06/2005 6:07:23 AM PDT by sweetliberty
LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- Gov. Mike Huckabee says he's not afraid of risking his political future by speaking out against a recent immigration raid at an Arkadelphia poultry plant even though calls to his office have been "about 1,000 to one" against his stance.
"Most of the people that call are irate and using profanity. This is a very emotional issue. It evokes not only deep emotion, but causes irrational emotion," Huckabee told The Associated Press on Friday.
The move has strengthened support for the governor among national Hispanic civil rights advocates and could bode well for a Republican leader of the National Governors Association with presidential ambitions.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents arrested 119 illegal workers July 26 in the raid at a Petit Jean poultry plant, sending 107 out of the country either voluntarily or through deportation. The raid drew the ire of many in the community because about 30 children were left behind when their parents were arrested.
The governor's office has joined with the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Catholic Charities and the League of United Latin American Citizens to ensure the well-being of the children.
Huckabee, a Baptist minister, said his support for the state's growing Hispanic population has to do with compassion, not politics. But longtime University of Arkansas at Little Rock political science professor Art English said there could be a political upside for Huckabee.
"It seems like immigration is not the most popular issue in the world to take a stand on but we are talking about kids," English said. "It looks like the federal government is being a great bully and these people are not committing great crimes. The outcome is these people don't have their mom or dad."
Friday, Huckabee said his repeated calls to Immigration and Customs and Enforcement officials about the raid have gone unanswered and he has asked the Bush administration to investigate the circumstances of the raid.
"(Federal agents) seem to be as indifferent in dealing with us as they are in dealing with children," he said.
Temple Black, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New Orleans, said the office was not avoiding calls from the governor and would be happy to talk with him.
"We are always open to good communications," he said.
Immigration officials have said they raided the plant after auditing the company's records. The raid followed the February identity-theft conviction of an Arkadelphia woman who admitted she unlawfully sold identity documents and Social Security cards.
Immigration agents said many workers illegally purchased U.S. birth certificates and Social Security cards, then used the documents to obtain ID cards, bearing their photos, from the state of Arkansas. The cards were used to obtain employment.
Huckabee said he supports the prosecution of the woman involved and does not support illegal immigration but takes issue with the way the raid was conducted.
"How is our government benefiting from an abandoned 1-year-old? I'm thinking as a parent, if I was in that position and my only crime was plucking a chicken to feed my family. I didn't hurt anyone," he said. "It would be different if the crime was robbing a bank with a gun or making methamphetamine."
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.
Huckabee also took an unpopular pro-Hispanic stance earlier this year when he fought for legislation that would have granted in-state tuition and state-funded scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. The bill failed by a close margin in the last days of the legislative session.
"Most of the people that call are irate and using profanity."
In other words, he doesn't care what the people that elected him want.
"The move has strengthened support for the governor among national Hispanic civil rights advocates and could bode well for a Republican leader of the National Governors Association with presidential ambitions."
He's kidding, right? Calls are a 1000 to 1 against this idiocy, and he thinks he's going to run for president? Must be counting on the illegal vote. He sure as h*ll won't be getting mine.
"It seems like immigration is not the most popular issue in the world to take a stand on but we are talking about kids,"
For the children? Now where have I heard THAT before? What about the future of OUR OWN kids?
"The outcome is these people don't have their mom or dad."
Easy solution....send them BACK to their moms and dads, if we know who they are. If their parents were under assumed identities and haven't made themselves known in an effort tot be reunited with their children, then they don't care much about them anyway, nor do they deserve them, in which case, keep the kids, get them parents who do care, and make Americans out of them.
"Huckabee said he...does not support illegal immigration..."
Who's he trying to kid?
"I'm thinking as a parent, if I was in that position and my only crime was plucking a chicken to feed my family. I didn't hurt anyone,"
A couple of problems here Governor; 1) it was an American chicken that should have been being plucked by an American, or at least a LEGAL worker. 2) I wonder if the person whose identity you stole would agree he hadn't been hurt.
WHAT PART OF "ILLEGAL" DO YOU NOT UNDERTAND?
"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..."
Well, it is certainly much more important to have the praise and support of the Mexican government and the LULAC president than that of your own people. < /sarcasm >
"...who called Huckabee's efforts for the children a testament to progress in racial attitudes."
Hey moron; it isn't about race! It is about law. It's about OUR people being robbed of jobs, services, culture and even personal identity. They are criminals. How are they any better than the criminals that "feed their families" by breaking into other people's homes and stealing from them?
If you'd like to be added to or removed from the Arkansas ping list, please let me know.
It's time to round up all the illegals and ship 'em out.
Have you noticed? The supporters of illegal immigration have tried a series of failed arguments to support their position. The first one was, "Why, do you want to pay $6 for a head of lettuce?"
Since that one isn't working anymore, they're trying to play the race card. How soon before everyone calls their bluff on that one, too?
Not the smartest move if they don't want opposition to the policy of removing illegals.
What race card is referenced in this article?
If I remember correctly, the reason these children were left behind is that the parents, when arrested, denied HAVING any children, and since they were using false identities, there was no way to check it out. It wasn't until after the parents were out of the country that the children were "discovered" by authorities.
>>>>"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. <<<<
This remark, "especially for it to come from a Republican" says all we need to know about the folly of trying to gain favor with these radical ethnic interests groups. They are thoroughly entrenched on the Left, and are Democrats by default. This type of remark only has value to those who suffer from White Guilt, and should not be taken as a compliment by anyone who hold conservative values because it is an echo of a standard leftist creed; i.e. that everything about the South from the founding of the nation till even now, and about the GOP from Nixon till now, is a shameful exercise in racism and exploitation.
>>>>Huckabee also took an unpopular pro-Hispanic stance earlier this year when he fought for legislation that would have granted in-state tuition and state-funded scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. The bill failed by a close margin in the last days of the legislative session.<<<<
So its pro-Hispanic to take action that rewards illegal immigration? But anyway, Huckabee should think more about protecting the legal tax payers of Arkansas instead of trying to garner favor with those (i.e. the Left) who will stab him in the back as soon as they finish patting him on it.
Huckabee is sadly indicative of a growing number of Republicans whose attitude towards immigration policy is to try and out-pander the Democrats (impossible by the way with their huge head start) and say F off the people who, you know, are naturally inclined to vote GOP and who will do so without pandering, and who have actually voted for Republicans. It is also an increasingly arrogant attitude. It is also a bit shocking in how they are becoming more leftist like in their complete lack of hesitation in attacking and demonizing other conservatives who dare disagree on this issue.
I'm still mystified as to why virtually all of our national, state and local politicians are far more interested in placating "Hispanic rights groups" as they are in doing the will of the vast majority of Americans. Do they think they will win elections solely on the strength of the illegal immigrant vote?
Why would anyone that is a legal citizen of the United States side with illegal entry? This is beyond me since they took the time to enter properly wouldn't they hold others to do the same. I cannot imagine this is a very large voter bloc.
It should never be assumed people who have already committed illegal acts to be honest. It just looks really, really bad that kids would be left behind like this and does our side of the argument no favors.
Of course it sounds like Huckabee is exploiting the issue and overblowing it - quietly asking for an investigation would have demonstrated more sincerity in his concern for the kids rather than turning it into a media event.
I hope the Governor gets what he deserves for his pro-illegal alien stance. How does permanent retirement sound?
I campaigned for this guy when he first ran for Lt/Gov. Lord, I was so proud. We had a Republican Lt/Gov. in a Democratic State. Wow!
Now, I am ashamed I ever had anything to do with his election. Never again, Mike..never again for anything!
The Guv and his band provided the music for the freeper "Count the Silverware" Inaugural Ball in DC after GW's first victory.
Well, since he is supposedly eyeing the presidency, he is doubtless trying to placate the large contituency of Arkansas democRATs. He's assuming he already has the Republican vote (gross miscalculation, in my opinion), so he's focusing on the democrats. He's been nothing but a rubber stamp on their policies for years anyway.
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