Mike Huckabee's Stance On Immigration Is Actually Pretty Moderate Compared To His GOP Competitors
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is running for president. Although he announced candidacy on Cinco de Mayo, he did little to address the hot button issue of immigration. Huckabee has been incredibly vocal about our southern border, most recently last month when a video series produced by Huckabee's 501(c)4 organization America Takes Action was released on YouTube. One of three videos included Huckabee's thoughts on immigration, more specifically border security. A majority of Huckabee's statements in the video, entitled "Feed, Fuel, Fight," show up on his recently unveiled campaign website under the "immigration and border security" heading, including Huckabee's simple tagline, which is as follows:
If you reward people who play outside the rules and punish people who live within the rules, pretty soon nobody is going to play by the rules. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.
Such a statement actually indicates a surprisingly moderate stance on immigration. Huckabee is completely against President Obama's executive action, in which 5 million undocumented citizens will get the opportunity to potentially receive work documents. He is, however, supportive of immigrant professionals in fields like medicine and engineering seeking legal work visas, stating in a 2007 GOP debate that "there are a number of people that we should welcome into this country; certainly engineers and doctors and scientists that we may need legally coming here."
On his website, Huckabee explicitly states that he wants the border sealed and opposes amnesty. Huckabee has consistently said he supports a streamlining of the immigration process itself, however, advocating for a "back of the line" approach in which immigrants seeking work visas or citizenship must start in their home countries and work their way towards legal immigration to the U.S.
In one of his most recent interviews this year on NBC's Meet the Press, Huckabee defended the Arkansas bill he supported as governor, which granted benefits to undocumented immigrants, including children born in the U.S., while also calling on a more balanced reform system. Huckabee said on the program:
There's got to be some form of, I guess, addressing the fact that they have broken the law. I don't think they ought to be put on buses and mass deported. That's not realistic or practical. But I do think that you can't just say, "Okay, blanket amnesty."
GOP presidential candidates' views on immigration are all across the board, with many candidates tending to bear down on far more conservative ideals. Huckabee may stand as one of the candidates who stays relatively moderate in his beliefs.
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