Republican Candidates Lying About Immigration Positions

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. First Huckabee. Long story short, he promised the head of the Minutemen that he would support a constitutional amendment to bar so-called birth citizenship for illegals. Then in a CNN interview, ie in front of a liberal audience, he took exactly the opposite position. Then he implied, without actually stating it, that the Washington Times didn't contact his campaign before running the story. In fact, the paper had contacted his campaign and confirmed the Minuteman story, which he eventually admitted.


    Huckabee retreats on birthright citizenship
    By Stephen Dinan
    January 9, 2008
    Mike Huckabee yesterday contradicted his own top immigration surrogate, announcing he will not support a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal aliens.

    It was a stark reversal after The Washington Times reported that James Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, said Mr. Huckabee promised to pursue an amendment to the Constitution. In an article in yesterday's editions, Mr. Huckabee's spokeswoman did not challenge the former Arkansas governor's statements to Mr. Gilchrist and said the two men shared the same goals on immigration.

    But by yesterday afternoon, Mr. Huckabee had backed away from that position.

    "I do not support an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship," Mr. Huckabee said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site.

    The Times reported that Mr. Gilchrist, in a half-hour conversation while campaigning with Mr. Huckabee last week in Iowa, pinned down the Republican presidential candidate on various immigration stances, including how he would address what most legal scholars see as the 14th Amendment's guarantee of citizenship to any person born in the United States, except for diplomatic situations.

    Mr. Gilchrist said Mr. Huckabee promised to bring a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge the matter, and also would press Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution.

    In an interview with CNN, the candidate said his campaign was not contacted about the story: "It was disappointing the reporter who filed the report never bothered to contact our campaign," he said.

    But Mr. Huckabee's spokeswoman, Kirsten Fedewa, did talk to The Times for the article. She did not challenge any of Mr. Gilchrist's statements at the time, and was quoted as saying Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Gilchrist were "united by a mutual desire to end illegal immigration and are political allies toward that end."

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    In a statement to The Times yesterday evening, Mr. Huckabee acknowledged his campaign was asked about the story.

    "I was asked to respond to questions by The Washington Times about my position regarding presidential pardons for imprisoned U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean and about personal e-mail correspondence by one of my supporters," Mr. Huckabee said. "We responded to those questions.

    "If the Supreme Court chooses to review lower-court decisions regarding the 14th Amendment, that is their prerogative, but my priorities for constitutional amendments are to protect human life and traditional marriage," he said in the statement.

    Mr. Huckabee also said on CNN that he hasn't given much thought to the issue of birthright citizenship. But he previously had taken a position in an interview with The Times on his campaign bus in Iowa in August.

    "I would support changing that. I think there is reason to revisit that, just because a person, through sheer chance of geography, happened to be physically here at the point of birth, doesn't necessarily constitute citizenship," he said at the time, according to the audiotape of the interview. "I think that's a very reasonable thing to do, to revisit that."

    Mr. Gilchrist did not respond to repeated phone calls and e-mails yesterday asking about the discrepancy, but in a 42-minute telephone call Sunday he told The Times that Mr. Huckabee promised him these things in their half-hour private conversation.

    "I read back my notes to him twice and I told him I did not want to put words in his mouth," he said. "The guy looked me right in the eye."

    Mr. Gilchrist issued a press release from the Minuteman Project laying out Mr. Huckabee's positions. That release was provided to the Huckabee campaign.

    Yesterday, Mr. Gilchrist's Web site,, still included a photo from his meeting with Mr. Huckabee in Iowa, and still said Mr. Huckabee promised to pursue a Supreme Court decision and a constitutional amendment.

    Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican candidate, has introduced a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship.
  2. Now of course McCain. His stubborn support for amnesty nearly destroyed his campaign, but voters in NH either didn't care or weren't aware of McCain's consistent position, despite Romney's diffident attempts to spotlight it. Perhaps they believed McCain's shocking lies, as detailed by Mickey Kaus.



    Straight Talk on Illegal Immigrants and Social Security: Mitt Romney's failure to hang "comprehensive immigration reform" around John McCain's neck in last night's debate may have been the defining failure of Romney's candidacy. We'll see if he does better in the Fox debate that just started. [Update: He did, but maybe not better enough.]

    It's been my impression that McCain has been locked by the realities of the issue into a tactic of gruff testy dissembling--e.g., saying that illegals he'd legalize would "not be in any way rewarded for illegal behavior" (of course they would--how many people around the world would like to pay a fine and come and live here legally?) or that they'd have to go to the "back of the line behind everybody else" (nope-they get to short-circuit the most important line, the line to get into the "citizenship" line).

    One issue I wasn't clear on, though, was whether--or, more precisely, when, exactly-- illegals would have qualified for Social Security benefits once they were legalized under McCain's various "comprehensive" plans. Several MSM 'truth-checkers,' such as the NYT's Marc Santora, have claimed that McCain would let illegal immigrants get Social Security when they

    come forward, pay fines, then wait their turn to become citizens ... but only after they are citizens.

    That was clearly BS (citizenship isn't a requirement). But what was the truth? I emailed someone who actually knows the details, Mark Krikorian, and got back this response:

    Citizenship is most assuredly NOT required to collect Social Security -- only legal status. There's actually two questions -- 1) can you collect benefits if you're illegal, and 2) can you accrue credits toward future Social Security benefits from illegal work. ... [snip]

    [T]he Senate bill required that amnesty applicants (probationary Z visa
    holders) be issued Social Security numbers "promptly." So, technically, McCain is right in saying that he's against letting illegals get Social Security checks, but that's just a dodge, since he'd legalize them all, *then* give then Social Security.

    The answer to the second question is "maybe" -- illegals have in fact been able to use "unauthorized work," in the Social Security Administration's parlance, to count toward future benefits; see: , scroll down to "SSA Law Inconsistent on Illegals".

    But S1639 wouldn't have allowed that because of an amendment; see here and scroll down most of the way down to "Hutchison SA 1415" which "Prohibits the granting of Social Security credit for wages earned by illegal aliens prior to their being granted amnesty under this bill" and passed by voice vote. Though, as Sessions Loophole thing points out, visa-overtsaying illegals who'd been issued a Social Security number when they arrived (as workers or students) *would* have been able to use the credits from wages they earned after they fell out of status (i.e., became illegal aliens) toward collecting future benefits.

    McCain was even worse in 2006, when he voted against an amendment by Ensign to that year's successful amnesty bill that would have done the same thing as Hutchison's 2007 amendment. So, he says he's now aware that the people want enforcement first -- has he also learned that the people don't want illegal work counted toward Social Security? Because he was for that before he was against it.

    McCain's comment here

    I do not support nor would I ever support any services provided to someone who came to this country illegally, nor would I ever and have never supported Social Security benefits for people who are in this country illegally, that is absolutely false.

    is simply a lie. The second part is a weasely, politician lie, because he'd amnesty the illegals first, then give them SS, but the first part is a normal unambiguous lie. In fact, as Sessions points out, even Z visa holders who would have been *rejected* for amnesty could have accrued credits toward future Social Security, because they would have had legitimate SSNs. And if there were no effort in the future to root out and arrest rejected Z-visa-holding applicants (as if!), then they'd have kept on working and accruing credits toward future SS benefits.

    And no one even seems to have asked McCain whether he supports the Totalization Agreement with Mexico, which would count work in *Mexico* toward future SS benefits here, and is commonly seen as the next step after legalization. [E.A.]

    In other words, illegals wouldn't have to pay fines and wait to become citizens to get Social Security. They'd qualify for Social Security almost immediately, as soon has they got their quickie "probationary" Z-visas. But most might not get credit for earlier work done here illegally, at least immediately. That depends on whether you're talking about the 2006 McCain or the 2007 McCain. ... 5:19 P.M.

  3. Other than the shamelessness of these career pol's lies, what really annoys me is that they are easily the two most santimonious candidates in the race. More so even than John Edwards, and that's saying plenty. Huckabee has this annoying Clinton-like habit of implying that anyone who disagrees with him is simply morally inferior. He also seems to share Clinton's knack for being economical with the truth and parsing words disingenuously. His Gomer Pyle demeanor and accent have somehow charmed the media and led them to underestimate his infighting skills.

    McCain lacks Huckabee's finesse. His technique is to bluster and gruffly hurl accusations of lying and dishonest negative campaigning at anyone who dares point out his record. He seems to despise Romney, no doubt because Romney is not a career pol and doesn't play by McCain's rules. In case anyone has forgotten, McCain pushed through an odious law under the guise of campaign finance reform that barred ordinary citizens and interest groups from running truthful ads about candidates before an election but also gave great power to secretive groups like and rich cranks like George Soros. McCain simply cannot tolerate criticism or disagreement, terrible qualities in a president.

    Romney is in a bit of a dilemma in confronting McCain. McCain has traded on his POW ordeal for his entire political career and he is quick to throw it in anyone's face who threatens him. McCain's lies on his immigration bill are so numerous, Romney hardly would have time in a debate to address them all. That said, I don't think Romney has done a particularly good job on the issue. He attacked McCain for his support for amnesty, then denied he had done so, then quibbled endlessly about whether it was amnesty. He has not hammered the most inflamatory aspect of McCain's plan, which is the ability of illegals to go on Social Security even before they become citizens. Under his plan, you can sneak in to the US, then start drawing Social Security benefits. Is this a great country or what?

    The argument we will be hearing is that Hillary or Obama would be even worse. That sadly is true, but it is not the end of the argument. There has to be a penalty for betrayal on a core issue, if only to serve as an example for other pols who might be tempted to screw their supporters. So McCain is unacceptable as a nominee, even if it means the horror of a Clinton or Obama presidency.
  4. If McCain or Huckabee is the republican candidate I won't vote for them no matter what. I'll write in Howard Stern before I vote for those jerks.
  5. I tend to agree. I certainly would not support McCain. I can't see supporting guiliani, and Huckabee would also be a problem for me. Republicans have used the "we're not as bad as they are" excuse for too long.
  6. Isn't it interesting that McCain attacks Romney for changing his position years ago on abortion, but McCain apparently has radically changed his position on border security and amnesty within the last few weeks. Or so he claims.
  7. LOL, so you're going to be voting for Hillary, right? I knew there was still hope for you. :D