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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/18/2007

Pinocchios for Huckabee on Illegal Immigrants

By Michael Dobbs

Mike Huckabee in Greenville, SC, Dec. 8, 2007".

"In Arkansas, Governor Huckabee supported broadening a particular merit scholarship -- not in-state tuition - to include high-achieving children who were applying for citizenship...The proposal to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for in-state tuition was not part of the Governor's plan."

--Huckabee press release,, December 15, 2007.

Now that he has become a front-runner, Mike Huckabee is feeling the heat from other Republican candidates who are scrutinizing his record as governor of Arkansas for evidence of "liberal" or "Democratic" inclinations. One leading rival, Fred Thompson, has accused Huckabee of having "championed" an effort to permit illegal immigrants to benefit from in-state tuition rates at state universities. Huckabee has denied the charge, claiming that his support was limited to a much more restrictive scholarship program.

Huckabee's denials fly in the face of the record.

The Facts

During his annual "State of the State address" to the Arkansas state legislature in January 2005, Huckabee proposed making "any student graduating from a high school in Arkansas" eligible for state financial aid. He said it was "terribly unjust" to deny such aid solely on the basis of the student's immigration status, "a status that he had no decision in and no control over."

"Huckabee plan would aid illegal immigrants," the state's leading newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, reported the following day.

The wording of the governor's proposal was a little vague. A Democratic representative named Joyce Elliott, had already proposed legislation granting in-state tuition status to undocumented immigrants who had attended Arkansas secondary schools for at least three years. During talks with the governor's staff, Elliott agreed to include a scholarship provision in her bill, which became known as House Bill 1525. She says that both parts of the bill were fully supported by Huckabee. As a condition for qualifying for in-state tuition, the students had to have high school diplomas and file affidavits stating that they "intended" to legalize their immigration status.

"I never had the slightest indication that he wanted any changes," Elliott told me, when I called her in Little Rock. "He clearly supported the entire bill, and I never heard anything different from them."

Huckabee defended the bill in conversations with reporters, and expressed disappointment when the measure failed to pass the Arkansas Senate by just two votes. "I don't understand the opposition to it, I just honestly don't," Huckabee said, according to an April 14, 2005 Associated Press report. "It hurts me on a personal as well as a policy level to think that we are still debating issues that I kind of hoped we had put aside in the 1960s."

Asked about the measure during the November 28 CNN/YouTube debate, Huckabee said that his proposal applied to students who had been in Arkansas schools from the time they were "five or six years old," were "A-plus" students, "drug and alcohol-free", and in the process of "applying for citizenship." He implied that his support was limited to these students, a point reiterated by his spokeswoman Kirsten Fedewa.

"He did not support in-state tuition," Fedewa said in an e-mail. "He supported scholarships for students who qualified."

The Pinocchio Test

The distinction that Huckabee is attempting to draw is an artificial one. His original State of the State address talked about making all Arkansas high school graduates eligible for state "financial aid," not just A-plus students applying for citizenship. It is true that Huckabee was particularly interested in the scholarship part of the bill. But it is untrue to claim that he "did not support in-state tuition" for illegal immigrants. Three Pinocchios.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | December 18, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Candidate Watch, Education, Immigration  
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He was right at the time and should stick to his guns now. I thought he was supposed to be this big-time "straight talker." Of course, it´s the "mean season" and immigrants are the big "whipping boy" for the GOP and he needs to appeal to the Neanderthal wing of the party to win, so he changes his tune now. Sad.

Posted by: Paul Falduto | December 18, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the poor illegal immigrants. They only want money. They only want freedom to murder and rape and pillage - over a million American victims this year.

They only want the American Dream - even if they have to steal it like the 10 million American identities they steal each year. They only want security the free gringo welfare system they come here to abuse.

And look at all the wonderful things they give to the US. They bankrupt our hospitals. They degrade our schools. They demand the US speak their native language and make it the official language of the US because their ancestors were in Jamestown first and giving away ones sovreignty and laws is the Christian thing to do.

And instead of thanking the US for the 1986 amnesty and millions of Visas, they hire lawyers to sue the US for rights to which they are not entitled and demand another amnesty and looser laws so their extended families can move here from Mexico and Central Ameirca.

Mikey will eat anything but not America.

Posted by: Tom Jefferson | December 18, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Anybody who believes the earth was created in a flash of light 6,000 years ago, about two weeks before the pyramids were built, can claim anything he wants. Facts or proof mean nothing to him. Evidence is just an annoying test of "faith". If God told him he didn't say it, he didn't say it, OK?

Posted by: Philip J Tramdack | December 18, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Paul F. is right on the money.

And it's interesting to me that just as Huckabee seemed to be gaining recognition by demonstrating a healthy amount of sensibility, he starts acting like a typical slimy politician. With the recent Mormom "satan" jab ("oh, I didn't mean anything by it...", and now this attemt to revise his history, this guy is largely a self-serving fraud. It's a shame.

This echoes the derailment of McCain's straight talk express in recent years, and my disgust for that panderer.

Posted by: Mark | December 18, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe ony 3 Pinocchios. The article should have been surrounded by them. Mikey is the reason ICE is still staying out of Arkansas's favorite chicken plants.

Posted by: budswisr | December 18, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"Tom Jefferson" is unfortunately representative of too many of those Huckabee is trying to appease. Not most, but too many.

What an insult to good people who want nothing more than to get ahead in life.

Of course they shouldn´t come illegally, but coming here to rape and murder? How can you live with yourself, sir?

And to use the name of a man who would abhor your point of view as your "handle" is doubly bad. For shame.

Posted by: Paul Falduto | December 18, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Huckabee proposed making "any student graduating from a high school in Arkansas" eligible for state financial aid. He said it was "terribly unjust" to deny such aid solely on the basis of the student's immigration status, "a status that he had no decision in and no control over." "

Good for him.

Posted by: zukermand | December 18, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The world's flat, there is no evolution and mine is the "true" faith! Oh, oh and to think the bigots were worried about Mormons.

Huckabee would make a great stand up comic, but President? This is our answer to Muslim fundamentalists? A Baptist one.

Baptists are good people and Huckabee's entitled to his faith, but sorry, no go for Prez. Hey Dennis Kucinich, got room for another passenger in that UFO. Here's one who's "outta this world".

Posted by: Total Immersion | December 18, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Seduced by dreams of the Oval Office, Pastor Huck has decided that, contrary to earlier beliefs, it's no sin to tell a lie.

Posted by: pali2500 | December 18, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised that a supposed liberal paper would call Mike Huckabee a liar for trying to do the right thing and or course he should deny the "charge" against him because the very tone of it assumes Huckabee did something wrong or that his ENTIRE motive was to scheme to hurt American citizens by helping undocumented resident students. The tone of the charge is the lie and those making it should be ashamed. Shame also on those of you who view undocumented high shcol students who have been residents of the state for many years as uneligable for in-state tuition. They may not be US citizens but they
are long time residents.

Posted by: Bob V | December 18, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

This isn't the first time Mike Huckabee has talked out of both sides of his mouth. He will have plenty of opportunity to do it some more and I doubt he'll disappoint.

Posted by: Dave W | December 18, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Ah, the poor illegal immigrants. They only want money. They only want freedom to murder and rape and pillage - over a million American victims this year."

TJ is a flat out racist. Where the h-e-double-toothpicks did you get a number of a million victims of rape and murder. Prove it or retract it.

There were 17,034 victims of murder and non-negligent manslaughter and 92455 victims of rape in 2006. [FBI statistics.] That's 110,000 victims TOTAL. It is well known that, except for the crime of illegal entry or overstaying a visa, the crime rate of illegals is under that of the native population. [If you were going to be deported for speeding, you'd keep under the speed limit too.] So, your supposed million victims claim probably works out to around a few thousand, most of whom are in the immigrant community.

I would note that picking veggies in a California field, cleaning toilets, taking care of kids, etc. does not qualify as pillaging. What a goon.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 18, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thomas Jefferson had a lot to say about both lawfullness in society and immigratuon. You should try reading, just a little about American history rather than spouting pastoral BS and supporting the criminal endeavors of 10 million illegal violent criminals (that per John Torres, Director of ICE in a Feb WAPO interview) who do come here ONLY to kill, rape, and steal.

But you are evidently one of those who aid and abett illegal immigration living in a Catholic or elitist fantasy always failing to mention anything but sob BS tales about "all the wonderful poor immigrants doing the jobs Americans won't do", while neglecting the truth that all of them are ILLEGAL, ALL STEAL IDENTITIES TO WORK, and 10 million of the illegals are violent criminals who, one day, will likely rob rape or kill you.

Still, you are entitled to your fantasy. But, a vast unyielding resolute majority of Americans have finally decided to face the realities of illegal immigration and do something about stopping it.

The Wall will be built, leaws will be enforced and no amensty will ever be issued again in America.

Posted by: Tom Jefferson | December 18, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

BF or FB - whatever - I think John Torres proved it to America already. Now America is angry and you ILLEGAL ALIEN sympathizers are on the losing end.

Jefferson once wrote "the great thing about the second amendment is that people don't need to use it until the Government tries to take it away".

The liberals of this nation now face a dilema - try to grant amnesty to 30 million illegals and alienate 80 percent of America or try to take away the second amendment before it is targeted at illegal aliens.

Sounds like a lose-lose proposition. Illegal aliens will go home. Even a few Democrats are now feeling the pressure to act against them. The SAVE act, written by Heath Shuller (D NC), is now on its way to rapid approval in Congress - say adios to your illegal compadres.

And America is challenging en masse the Democrat led move to cut funding for the border fence.

All of America is rising up against the liberal elitists who thwart the rule of America's law. The liberals time as a majority is deservedly over as is the 1/2 trillion dollar per year US tax subsidized welfare state for Illegal aliens as is the reign of Council LaRaza's abuse of America and the illegal residency and false citizenship of 30 million illegals.

Posted by: Thomos Jefferson | December 18, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Total Immersion wrote:
"Baptists are good people and Huckabee's entitled to his faith, but sorry, no go for Prez."

I'm afraid I have to agree with this. A person's religion should not matter, but when you have people speaking theocratic language, that turns me off.

And to Thomas Jefferson, I have this to say: While your posts may be impassioned, don't just blame "liberal elitists" for the mess we're in now. Blame CORPORATE AMERICA, which readily endorses illegal immigration and donates heavily to the GOP -- which for the most part, looks the other way. It's pretty simple: Jail the employers breaking the law by hiring the undocumented and illegal immigration will dramactically decline.

Posted by: vegasgirl | December 18, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me - but ALL religio-republican politicians are hypocrite liars and ethically bankrupt.

How can I say that? Because the book they poud (the king james version of the bible editred by Constantine) stands opposed to EVERY ONE OF THEIR POSITIONS.

Its just that the sellers of the bible (megachurch pastors and ex watergate convicts like Chuck Colson are making these statements and claiming they are biblical.

Of course Huckabee is lying! DUH!

Posted by: JBE | December 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The liberal LaRaza supporters continue to manuafcture tales about the Poor illegals doing Ag jobs Americans won't do.

Point of fact - in Washington State last year, after a large raid by ICE and removal of a large apple growers illegal alien workforce, the apple grower was forced to post hiring ads at higher wages.

The response by AMERICAN workers was overwhelming and the harvest was saved by AMERICANS all still working in America for decent wages.

The meat packing industry and hotel industries are next on ICE's list - in 08, raids will be increased 10 fold regardless of Calderon's and Council LaRaza's arrogant defiant demands on America.

It may take time but, in the end, Americans will save America. We will never grant another amnesty to all the dispicable illegal alien criminals who defy American law and sovreignty as if they presume to own this nation.

And Mike Huckabe may want to pay attention rather than flip flopping and lying lest he be cast in the same disgraceful, illegal alien pandering, anti American ilk as the Democrat candidates.

Calderon and his compadres started this fight - Americans will finish it.

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | December 18, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I heard Huckabee say in a debate that we are a better country than to deny children of illegal aliens a chance for a good education? Keep listening to the media and vote the way they want you to and we will have more of the same in the White House. I'm really tired of being labeled in a derogatory manner for opposing illegal aliens. I'm tired of hearing that we have to have them because Americans won't do the work. Why haven't they made any attempt to apply for citizenship after living here for years and years if they wanted to be American citizens so bad? Why didn't they go in and make an application? Most of them could have been citizens for years now. But that would have meant accepting responsibility and paying for your housing, food, insurance, taxes, and health care like the rest of us. This government just can't resist people they perceive as victims.

Posted by: Red Rose1 | December 18, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

To he who seeks credibility through the alias of a notable founding father:

I recommend that you immediately cease your virulent rhetoric, take off your tin-foil hat, and try to actually listen to other people.

First of all, the real Thomas Jefferson was not as harsh as you portray him. Why, one of his first acts was to repeal the Alien acts. Hardly anti-immigrant, now is it?

Your statistics are wild and misleading. If 1 million people were truly victims, the United State's violent crime rate would be upwards of 300 per 100,000 people -- twice that of Rio de Janeiro and comparable to a country that has little force of rule of law (e.g., Somalia).

The single biggest factor that propels immigrants to come here is the massive economic gradient that exists between the United States and several countries in Latin America. The minimum wage here is $6.55/hour, in Mexico a little less than 50 pesos/hour, which is about $4.60 at current exchange rates. Which one would you choose? And remember this--Mexico is the best economy of the lot; comparing the United States to the economy of Haiti would be a joke.

Another factor is that Mexico is cursed with a rich-poor gap that dwarfs the United States', coupled with an achievement gap. Mexico is not quite developed in the league of EU-US but not emerging in the sense of Brazil, China, or India--it is a mixture of the two: the rich have access to EU/US-like services while the poor do not. The poorer parts want to emigrate to receive the same services.

Finally, in general, many people are coming because of the dream that too many Americans have forgotten. They come because they see themselves as doing better in the United States than in their home countries. To see this, look at the latter generations: the second- and third-generation immigrants are not rioting and causing general disruption as they are in Europe. In fact, the most disgruntled group as a whole is the African-American segment of the population, but that's another story.

Posted by: Joshua Cranmer | December 18, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you even had the balls to go to Mexico and actually ask the people why they migrate. They wouldn't unless it was absolutely necessary. Go to Juarez, Mexico and live with a family for a week if you can last. Their houses are made of dirt floors and scrap tin and wood. Most dont even know what it feels like to be healthy because they only have infested water that they keep in barrels outside. I think you'd want out too. But whats amazing is they mainly migrate because of their children. They want better lives for their kids. With how "Thomas Jefferson" is talking they sure arent coming here because of all the friendly people. Stop complaining about learning a second language. If anything knowing several languages should be everyones goal because that makes you versitile in jobs and appear educated. Its just ignorance to complain about something so small. The "pastor" has every right to allow in-state tuition to immigrants because that means he's more worried about bettering a humans life! After everything thats been going on in this country with the war maybe a Baptist Pastor is just what this Country needs to repair our wounds and get us back on track.

Posted by: April | December 19, 2007 2:24 AM | Report abuse


I really feel for them and their dirt floors and their kids, etc etc etc...But they are illegal. If they can break our laws,why can't I? Why can't I pick and choose which laws to obey if they can? April, they export BILLIONS out of our economy every year, pay no taxes, use social services free - you don't even get to do that and you are a citizen.

I'm not anti-immigration. I'm anti-illegal undocumented immigration. This country is made up of immigrants, NOT illegal, non-tax paying immigrants.

Posted by: Lisa | December 19, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Sure are a lot of apologists here. Fact is, the Huckster is a corporate sponsored open borders, amnesty politician. He has made his views and opinions on this matter quite clear and the proof is in the pudding. He now wants you to believe that he has changed his long held views and no longer supports illegal immigration. Right. For those of you who feel that people breaking into our country are just trying to "better themselves", you are right. However, the cold, hard facts are: if you allow millions and millions of third world and uneducated and unskilled people into ANY country unchecked, eventually the country will decline to the point it won't be worth breaking into anymore. And that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by: Ken | December 19, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

What this means......

--Citizens/tax payers will be supporting the illegals with tax dollars.

--There is only X dollars for grants/scholarships available per year. This means there would be less money available for US citizens if it is given to illegals.

--US citizens or LEGAL immigrants who attend colleges in other states do not get in-state tuition---how can anyone think that this is fair??

--Did you know that Mexican citizens can attend college for FREE in Mexico (where 67% of the illegals are coming from.


Posted by: Bren | December 19, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Suckabee is toast. His numbers are falling as conservatives realize how he voted in the past and the fact that he's a pro-life liberal. It's really good to see! Only a second tier candidate would be acceptable to this conservative.

Posted by: levotb | December 19, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

What do the citizens of the United States owe the citizens of Mexico. Nothing is the rational answer. Not are sovereignty, our tax dollars, our schools, our healthcare, our neighborhoods, our personal safety, our jobs, our quality of life, or our culture.

Illegal aliens are not immigrants. They are no different then a person who robs your home. They are not invited in and are only trying to give themselves a better life after all. Illegal immigration is the most devestating issue this country and it's citizens face because it contributes negatively to every facet or Americans lives.

There isn't a single major issue besides Iraq that wouldn't be improved if we merely enforced our immigration laws on the books right now. From the Healthcare crisis to the war on drugs it covers the whole spectrum.

Huckabee is just another open borders, chucking and jiving bureaucrat and his words and votes prove it.

Posted by: Ron | December 19, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Sure, its perfectly reasonable to vote for an "American" who allows a Mexican embassy to open up shop in his state for one dollar a year. Good deal. You know he wouldn't do that for any American entity. And why should he? To Huckabee, like all the other estaablisment politicos, Americans are nothing more than gullible tax slaves, to be duped, used and abused.

Posted by: Voice of Aztlan | December 19, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

There is one other thing that just amazes me about not only Huckabee, but Hillary, and literally all of the other candidates, especially it seems the Democrats. Do they ever consider what is good for the long suffering, tax burdened, American citizen and legal resident? It's mindboggling about how they bald facedly stand in front of American citizens and explain all of the things that need to be done for people who have never been invited here by the general American citizenry and legal residents.

Posted by: Bobby | December 19, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Parties gutting of the border fence, and their wholehearted support of the illegal invasion, is nothing less than "Stealing" from Americans. Mike Huckabee, is one of the theives. He cannot fool me or any informed person. His BS pandering in the past has proved where his muddled head is at.

Posted by: Bobby | December 19, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Biggest Lie of 2007????

That the Washington Post is checking facts for anything more than entertainment purposes.

The Washington Post is still calling torture an "aggressive interogation technique".

The Washington Post has never accounted for the lies they echoed from the administration that led us into Iraq. Instead, they carried the same administration lies about Iran and dropped the story about the president knowingly lying about Iran's nuclear threat.

The Washington Post cited John Edwards becasue he said that "NAFTA had cost millions of American jobs". NAFTA has indeed cost millions of jobs, but the Post counted new jobs created in the hamburger flipping industry against the total and called him a liar!!

The Washington Post constantly quote annonymous sources who lie for the administration and then deny accountability themselves because "somebody else" said those things!

The winner of the 2007 LIAR of the Year Award goes to the biggest spreader of corporate manure in the world, "The Washington Post".

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | December 24, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul! Freedom! Ron Paul! Freedom!

Posted by: Ward Ciac | December 25, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Tramdack,Total Immersion and VegasGirl,

To those of you who have a problem with Mr. Huckabee's professing a belief in Christianity and actually running for prez. I would like to take the opportunity to address you on this subject.

Don't we all believe in something? Is not non belief in God, actually a belief in something else that takes his place, i.e., the earth, or it's elements, or yourself as God or Goddess. Isn't non belief in the values of a God, actually belief in supporting the values of No God. Atheism is actually a religion, just like Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and any others that I might have forotten. The point is, since we all believe in something, and we all worship something, what is wrong with Mr. Huckabee standing up for what he believes in, when many of you loudly stand up for what you believe in? When a person is elected to office, they will ALWAYS bring the values and religion that they believe in with them,period, including the values of Atheism, if that is what they truly believe in. His values may differ from yours, and others who aren't Christian, but he is just as entitled to live by them shamelessly as those whose values are completely opposite to his. Why is it such a crime for a Christian to speak strongly for what he believes in? The bottom line is every candidate stands for and believes in something, if you don't like him, then don't vote for him. Find someone who represents what you believe in, that is what Christians do when we only support those who are pro-life. If you are atheist then vote for an atheist candidate. If you are mormon, then vote for Mr. Romney. I just don't understand why non believers get so offended by Christian beliefs and values when they (Christians) are just as entitled to their beliefs as you?

Posted by: J.M. | December 27, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Okay. Here is the scenario: ICE and the INS are totally not doing the job in your state. (As a resident of a southern state I see it all of the time.) What do you do when you now have a bunch of
"illegal kids" who have been here for years sitting around the bario, trailer park, ghetto or whatever doing nothing but getting into trouble. What do you as governor do when federal immigation officials are totally inept?

You could say " Screw them. They are illegal and why should they have any advantages". Then the more rational side might realize that then those kids would have little choice to do anything but steal and murder or take a cash only job as a day laborer because they certainly are NOT going back to Mexico... either by choice or by force.

Then you as a governor might think that maybe one solution to the problem is to prevent that scenario by getting them educated, keeping them in school and starting them on a path to citizenship. Then they would have to pay taxes (teachers, nurses, engineers and scientists are usually not paid in cash like day laborers). WOW, even if their immigation status is beyond your control at least you can make them less of a burden on society.

If ICE and the INS were doing their jobs governor's wouldn't have to make decisions like these.

Huckabee made a rational choice. Why doesn't the POST report on some of the successes of his choice to send these kids to school and get them off of the back of the American tax payer once and for all?

Posted by: think about it | December 29, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

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