Some would love to turn former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s GOP presidential candidacy from a surge into a dirge. That’s exactly what critics are trying to do – and working double-time at it, especially with the issue of immigration.
Mike welcomes this catalyst of criticism, first and foremost because he knows his record is strong. But he also realizes the heat translates into the fact that he has become a significant threat to the former rat pack (“first tier”) of the presidential race.
For Mike there’s nothing unusual here: “It’s politics 101, and frankly, it’s a good sign. It’s a form of flattery when you’re under assault. You know, a good hunter never puts the beads on a dead carcass. You only aim at something that’s alive that you want to put on the wall as a trophy.”
Bring it on!
Critics are alleging that, as governor, Mike condoned illegal immigration, freed murderers and rapists, raised taxes and misappropriated funds. Does that sound like the type of leader the good people of Arkansas would vote back into office? Well they did – two times, in 1998 and 2002. Even with Arkansas as a Democratic stronghold!
What I appreciate about Mike is he does not dodge difficult issues or accusations. He forthrightly dealt with these criticisms last week, appearing on countless forums refuting or giving further explanations. As you will see, these allegations are based upon nothing more than a combination of others examining minutiae and maligning his record. (I’ll address the illegal immigration criticisms here, and the others in future articles.)
So has Huckabee crossed the borders on illegal immigration?
Mike’s firm stand against illegal immigration is stated plainly on his website:
- My number one priority is to secure America’s border.
We have to know who is coming into our country, where they are going and why they are here. We need a fence along our border with Mexico, electronic in some places, and more highly-trained border agents.
Those who are caught trying to enter illegally must be detained, processed and deported.
Illegal immigrants already living among us who commit crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and incarcerated or deported.
Huckabee opposed the amnesty bill proposed by the Senate this year. He supports Congress’ $3 billion directed to build up border security – monies used to train and deploy 23,000 more agents, build 700 miles of fence and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, add four drone airplanes and erect 105 radar and camera towers.
As he summarized, “I have supported enforcing the laws on adults who broke the immigration laws. I believe in a secure border. I believe that we shouldn’t have amnesty, and I don’t believe in sanctuary cities.”
Enter the dragon
So what’s the fuss or criticisms about Mike’s illegal immigration positions? Critics accuse him primarily of two abuses: 1) Working with some of Arkansas’ big businesses via the establishment of a Mexican consulate in Little Rock to draw illegal immigrants to the state to accept low-paying jobs. 2) Giving in-state tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigrants.
First, in regards to the Mexican consulate, Mike explained to WND its two-fold purpose:
- First, we wanted to accommodate the business that was increasing between Arkansas businesses and Mexican businesses. Second, if people were going to come to Arkansas, we wanted them to follow legal processes rather than just be illegal. We wanted people to come to Arkansas and get the proper paper work and do things with a work permit and a visa. It’s so much easier to do that if you have a consulate where people can go to get proper documentation, rather than just accommodating people illegally.
Second, in regards to Mike’s recruiting of illegal immigrants for some of the most prominent businesses in Arkansas, Huckabee elaborated to WND:
- It’s simply untrue. I know for a fact that John Tyson and others diligently tried to make sure that there was legal status to their employees. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t illegal immigrants working there, often with false documents. Just common sense tells you a multi-billion dollar, multi-national company, whether it’s Wal-Mart or Tyson Foods, is not going to intentionally hire illegals and potentially have the kinds of problems they are going to have from it, just to have somebody picking the feathers off chickens.
Third, resolving probably his greatest accusation, Gov. Mike did not offer blanket in-state tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigration. He tried to prevent penalties to high school students, even those whose parents brought them over illegally, who were aspiring to obtain challenging academic scholarships. He espoused that these competitive benefits were open to illegals too, “if they were willing to apply and become legal citizens.”
Huckabee explained the drive behind his decision:
- [My] position was and remains that you do not punish a child for the crime of the parent. If a child is in the back seat of a car when a father drives drunk, it’s perfectly appropriate to put the father in the drunk tank, but you don’t put the child in the drunk tank. If a child was brought here when he or she was 5 years old and has gone through our entire education system and has worked hard, learned and made straight As, and has qualified for an Academic Challenge Scholarship, which was a very specific program in the state, and that student has qualified to be able to earn that scholarship, I’d rather that student go to college and become a taxpayer, not simply take some low-end hourly wage job and ultimately be a tax-taker.
The law of love
Huckabee is correct, “We are not a nation which penalizes the children because of the parents’ sin.” But when it comes to illegal immigration, even many conservatives indirectly advocate just that. We condemn those who abort even illegitimate babies from the womb, but condone (and sometimes commend) those who abort children from our “Christian” nation if their citizenship is illegitimate.
Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore challenged us in one of his articles about illegals, “Should we demonstrate Christian love and concern for their salvation, or should we oppose amnesty legislation and enforce the immigration laws? The answer is yes – we can and should do both.” Amnesty – no. Illegal immigration – no. Caring for all children – yes.
That is not social justice; it’s not social conservatism; it’s biblical Christianity. Red and yellow, black and white, they are all precious in his sight, right? Excluding those born to illegals? I’m amazed how quickly some abandon the fundamentals of scripture to assure that the laws of the land (and maybe even their own prejudices) are upheld.
Scripture says we are to obey the laws of the land. But when those laws controvert what the Bibles says, “We must obey God rather than man.” Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Our own Lord stood up and did not hinder any children from coming to Him. He wasn’t selective in his care. And so we shouldn’t be either.
Time to pony up to Mike Huckabee
Mike’s strong position on illegal immigration still stands – it isn’t negated by his compassion. He agrees confidently and completely with the words of President Ronald Reagan, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”
That’s where Mike Huckabee stands on illegal immigration – and I support him for it. One more reason why he’s my choice for president, and I believe we should all join his team, spread word about him, and especially support him financially.
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