2007 December 04 Tuesday
Romney And Huckabee On Illegal Immigrants

The Boston Globe had to report on Mitt Romney's use of illegal immigrants for lawn care not once but twice to get him to stop it. It took the desire to appeal to the Republican base to turn Romney into an immigration restrictionist.

Standing on stage at a Republican debate on the Gulf Coast of Florida last week, Mitt Romney repeatedly lashed out at rival Rudy Giuliani for providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants in New York City.

Yet, the very next morning, on Thursday, at least two illegal immigrants stepped out of a hulking maroon pickup truck in the driveway of Romney's Belmont house, then proceeded to spend several hours raking leaves, clearing debris from Romney's tennis court, and loading the refuse back on to the truck.

In fact, their work was part of a regular pattern. Despite a Globe story in Dec. 2006 that highlighted Romney's use of illegal immigrants to tend to his lawn, Romney continued to employ the same landscaping company until today. The landscaping company, in turn, continued to employ illegal immigrants.

Two of the workers confirmed in separate interviews with Globe reporters last week that they were in the country without documents. One said he had paid $7,000 to a smuggler to escort him across the desert into Arizona; the other said he had come to the country with a student visa that was now expired. Both were seen on the lawn by either Globe reporters or photographers over the last two months.

Romney, informed of this situation by the Globe reporters, finally cracked down.

He also released a copy of the short letter of termination he sent to Mr. Ricardo Saenz of Community Lawn Service.

"Given your company's disregard for the clear instructions provided on this issue last year, I am forced to terminate my contract with your company, effective immediately," the letter stated. "My family will no longer utilize your services and all scheduled visits are cancelled as of today. I am disappointed that our relationship must end on this note,

He's disappointed that this gardener service didn't put forth the effort needed to make it easier for him to win the Presidency. He's disappointed that running for President places constraints on who he can use as a servant.

but we simply cannot tolerate your inability to ensure that your employees are legally permitted to work in the United States."

But Ricardo Saenz argues that enforcing immigration laws is not his job.

Ricardo Saenz, of Community Lawn Service, told NewsCenter 5's Jorge Quiroga Tuesday, "I'm not the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service). It's not my job to keep track of all that."

Illegal immigrants are not just a problem for the American southwest any more. They've spread far and wide. Now they've spread far enough to get Mormon Presidential candidates from Massachusetts in trouble.

But latest emerging contender for the Republican Presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee, makes Romney a hard core immigration enforcement supporter in comparison.

Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven't settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there's little doubt which Republican scares them most former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

"He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill. "Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens."

Huckabee is making headway because Romney is a Mormon. Many Christians do not see Mormons as really one of them.

Romney is poking at Huckabee on his views about illegal immigrants.

After Romney and Giuliani argued over immigration, Romney turned on Huckabee for a proposal he made as governor of Arkansas to give breaks in college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. "Mike, that's not your money," he said. "That's the taxpayers' money. And the right thing here is to say to people that are here legally as citizens or legal aliens, we're going to help you. But if you're here illegally, you ought to be able to return home or get in line with everybody else, but illegals are not going to get taxpayer-funded breaks that are better than our own citizens." Huckabee responded: "In all due respect, we're a better country than to punish children for what their parents did. We're a better country than that." "I worked my way through college," Huckabee added. "I started work when I was 14, and I had to pay my own way through, and I know how hard it was to get that degree. I'm standing here tonight on this stage because I got an education. If I hadn't had the education, I wouldn't be standing on this stage. I might be picking lettuce. I might be a person who needed government support rather than who was giving so much money in taxes I want to get rid of the tax code that we've got and make it really different."

Romney's campaign has sent out an email explaining how Huckabee sees illegals as net taxpayers (and Huckabee is deluded).

To back up its claims against Huckabee, the Arkansas Republican is quoted in the Romney mailer as saying last year that "what is good is a pathway to a legal status." In 2006, Huckabee supported the Senate's earned legalization plan over a House bill, which would have made illegal immigration a felony.

The mailer also quotes Huckabee as saying in 2005 that "illegal immigrants are actually financially supporting U.S. citizens."

Think that's an exaggeration of Huckabee's position? Nope. Huckabee told John Hawkins he wants the old path toward citizenship for illegals and this is just like George W. Bush.

Mike Huckabee: Well, I'm not as sure that leaving and then coming back is as important as it is to acknowledge that what they've done is illegal, pay a fine, and then get in line behind the people that are going through the process of being here legally. It's important that we have a legal process.

We can't just ignore our laws. We either change them or enforce them for clearly this land is a land that is dependent on more workers than we currently have for many of the jobs that Americans honestly don't want. So there is, I think, a reality that we shouldn't just sort of look the other way. I don't believe in amnesty. That's not a good idea, but creating a pathway where people can have a form of restitution to make things right, to understand that laws have to be obeyed or some consequences have to be applied.

The rest of the Republican field is so weak that Huckabee has a chance. Will fundamentalist Christians who oppose the Open Borders elites put Huckabee's positions on other issues ahead of immigration policy and vote for him in spite of his immigration positions?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 December 04 09:46 PM  Immigration Politics

tommy said at December 4, 2007 11:18 PM:

Huckabee must be stopped. Next to McCain, he is the worst candidate on the field and he is more dangerous currently than McCain. The problem is that very few people know what Huckabee's position is on immigration. The other candidates need to make voters aware of it.

T-Ray said at December 5, 2007 6:46 AM:

You know, every time an article like this comes up, I try to figure out what the big deal over illegal immigration is. It just seems to me that until we truly enforce our current laws, we can't gauge the problem. If building a wall or other such theatrical nonsense is going to help stem the tide of outsourcing, ever increasing pay disparity, a business fawning administration (as opposed to worker) then footstool valor sweatshirt. Yeah it makes about that much sense.
Why not taking a REAL look at the problems with our labor/owner relationship rather than standing laconically pointing at some boogie man parroting a propaganda alarm call. I apologize to anyone who wants to own the previous descriptor, it's just the way all this comes across to me. Business wants cheap labor, so a good strategy would be to create friction in labor and spend alot of time and money (more business, yea!) doing anything other than enforcing current laws. Before anyone starts with " it can't be done", think about the world of data management versus border patrolling.
Blessings of Peace and Harmony to all who pass here

dchamil said at December 5, 2007 7:45 AM:

"Many Christians do not see Mormons as really one of them." Since I know little about Mormon theology, I'd like to hear from the Mormons. Do they regard themselves as Christians? I'll take their word for it either way.

MattM said at December 5, 2007 7:51 AM:

Illegal immigrants got Romney in trouble? Seems like Romney got himself in trouble if you ask me...

JR Stranger said at December 5, 2007 8:25 AM:

Arkansas passed 287 (g) legislation in 2005. Huckabee did not do anything with it.


Newspaper excerpt:
Under the law, authored by Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, state troopers wouldn't have such powers unless the state and the Department of Homeland Security established a memorandum of understanding and then the troopers were trained.

Bill Sadler, state police spokesman, said Col. Steve Dozier, the director, doesn't consider the memorandum of understanding to be a "priority item." Other administrative matters are more pressing, but that's not to say it won't happen, Sadler said.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette 04/24/2005

Hal K said at December 5, 2007 9:37 AM:

It is a distortion to say that Romney has hired illegal immigrants. It was a company that he hired that was employing illegals, as was stated in the blog post. He responded to this issue in an exchange with Giuliani in a recent debate. He even asked the company not to employ illegals, and they persisted, which is why he stopped doing business with them.

Huckabee is a silver-tongued devil on the issue of immigration.

Anon said at December 5, 2007 10:16 AM:

I wonder what Ricardo Saenz's status is here in the US? And yes, it is an employer's job to check the legal status of their employees. He should to be arrested, fined and deported for knowingly breaking the law by hiring illegals. Of course, that is wishful thinking in the US today. Fuck Huckabee, Romney, Saenz and the rest of the traitors and illegals wrecking our nation. Fuck them all.

tommy said at December 5, 2007 10:16 AM:

Looks like Huckabee might have a Willie Horton problem.

halley said at December 6, 2007 7:27 AM:

Huckabee has the backing of the Evangelicals and that may get him elected. If so, we will see more of the same.

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