Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in the moments following the Values Voter Debate Sept. 17, 2007, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (WND photo)
Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist says he will have to reconsider his endorsement of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after learning the Republican presidential candidate favors allowing illegal aliens to wait only days to receive documents allowing re-entry into the U.S.
In a Dec. 9 Fox News interview, just two days before Gilchrist’s endorsement, Huckabee was questioned by host Chris Wallace about an apparent contradiction between statements last year that he preferred a pathway to citizenship and his current plan. On his campaign website, Huckabee outlines a proposal that would require illegal aliens to repatriate and get on the back of the line, which could mean years for re-entry into the United States.
Huckabee insisted there is no discrepancy, specifying that “the pathway to get back here legally doesn’t take years. It would take days, maybe weeks, and then people could come back in the workforce.”
Asked by WND to respond, Gilchrist backtracked, admitting he may have been mistaken in his initial assumptions about the repatriation provisions of Huckabee’s “Secure America Plan.”
“I’m going to have to follow up on this,” Gilchrist said. “I had not seen before anything in Governor Huckabee’s plan where repatriation and touch-back could involve only days, not years.
“I personally need to talk to Governor Huckabee about this,” he added. “This issue needs to be between Governor Huckabee and me.”
Huckabee’s admission to Fox News directly contradicted a condition Gilchrist stated was a sine qua non of his endorsement.
As previously reported, Gilchrist told WND, “Nothing I can find in Huckabee’s plan indicates he is going to let the illegal immigrants back into the country the next day after they go home.
“The illegal aliens, once they are back home, will have to stand in line with everybody else and apply for legal entry at the end of the line,” Gilchrist insisted, representing what he thought was the Huckabee plan.
Gilchrist further stated at the time, “If, in fact, there is no standing in line and waiting for legal entry, I would have a serious reservation about endorsing Huckabee.”
Despite the new information about Huckabee’s plan, Gilchrist declined to withdraw immediately his endorsement.
“I need to get answers from Huckabee himself about this discrepancy,” Gilchrist said. “I want a valid explanation and I want it published.
“Plus, I have some other questions too that you’re not aware of that I have already queried Governor Huckabee’s staff about yesterday and again this morning,” he continued. “But it’s going to take about 72 hours to get responses.”
Gilchrist declined to specify the additional questions.
In the Fox News interview, Wallace asked Huckabee about the apparent inconsistency.
“Well, I don’t think there’s an inconsistency,” Huckabee said. “When I said a pathway, I didn’t say what the pathway was.
“I now believe that the only thing the American people are going to accept – and frankly, the only thing that really makes sense – is a pathway that sends people back to the starting point,” Huckabee continued.
“But this idea of the waiting years – no, I don’t agree with that,” he stressed. “In fact, look, if we can get a credit card application done within hours, if we can get passports done within days, if we can transact business over the Internet any place in the world within seconds, do a background check instantaneously – it’s our government that has failed and is dysfunctional.”
Huckabee went on to say, “It shouldn’t take years to get a work permit to come here and pick lettuce.”
He further specified, “But the pathway to get back here legally doesn’t take years. It would take days, maybe weeks, and then people could come back in the workforce.”
That repatriation provisions in Huckabee’s “Secure America Plan” apparently are supported by Point 9 of his plan, which calls for an increase in the number of visas available for highly skilled and highly educated applicants.