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Huckabee risks political fortunes to denounce immigration raid
AP ^ | August 5, 2005 | Melissa Nelson

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.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arkansas
KEYWORDS: aliens; constipationparty; governorhuckabee; huckabeein08; illegalaliens; illegals; immigrantlist; immigration; stupidrepublicans
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To: All

I noticed huckster didn't have the decency to show up at the 39th's change of command ceremony today. sentor pryor and asa hutchingson showed up.

61 posted on 08/07/2005 3:47:17 PM PDT by Kewlhand`tek (What the hell was that? I hope it was outgoing!)
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To: All

To Arkansas FReepers:
Is anyone currently building a list of articles/hotlinks published here on FR that deal with the Goob'ner Quisling Huckster regarding all his feigning over the illegal immigrants, the pardoning of hardcore criminal inmates, etc., etc.? We've got to gather our ammunition now and have it at the ready so that when the battle begins to convince the public that he's ready for a promotion to a national office, we are ready to show that he is no longer fit for public office. The time to build a case against this yahoo is now. I can start a list of hotlinks on my profile page if no one else is already doing it. Send me hotlinks to any articles that can be used for ammunition that you find.

62 posted on 08/08/2005 10:45:34 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (Democrats are the French of American Politics.)
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To: sweetliberty; All
Also not mentioned is the fact that a 14 year old child was working at an industrial food processing plant.

Every story about this event will leave out any facts that disagree with the illegal immigration.

63 posted on 08/09/2005 5:51:23 PM PDT by pulaskibush (
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