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Mike Huckabee: Press Conference 12/14/07

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Published on Nov 12, 2008

Mike Huckabee
Press Conference
Concord, NH 12/14/07

TRANSCRIPT:
REPORTER: Governor, can I ask you about the immigration ad that you're running and the proposal that you have? In your book, "From Hope to Higher Ground," which you wrote about a year ago, I guess you talked about the pathway to citizenship was pretty similar to what Bush had proposed and questioned the ability to go rounding up 12 million people. Your new proposal basically sounds like a complete reversal where you do want to round up 12 million people. Is this a reversal? If so, how do you justify it basically based upon what you wrote just a year ago?

MIKE HUCKABEE: No, its not a reversal because I still dont believe we can round people up and thats why in my plan we dont call for the government to go rounding anybody up. We call, in essence, for people to voluntarily make their way back to their home country, simultaneously to that, is the modernization of the process to become legal. Now if that doesnt happen, then the voluntary part of it wont work at all, it will be a disaster. But what has to happen is that the government becomes functional. Let's face it, the immigration crisis is only a crisis because government miserably failed. Both to secure our borders and to create a modern, reasonable system for that to happen.

REPORTER: But, in your book you wrote that, um, they should pay a reasonable fine, an admission of guilt for the past infraction, be put on a pathway towards legal status and citizenship. There's nothing about sending them back to their own country. Now it sounds like, to be a, um, citizen, they do have to go back to their own country and apply. Isn't that change?

HUCKABEE: Well, that pathway's going to take 'em back. I mean, when we looked at this issue more realistically and particularly in light of the fact that the American people do not want someone getting in front of a line and whether it's the traffic line, getting out of a football stadium, or it's the line checking out of the supermarket. People don't like others to cut in front of them. And I think one thing we became very clear with as a country, Americans aren't going to be willing to settle for any plan that allows those have broken the law to get in front of those who stood in line for a long time to keep it. Why should anybody wait eight years or longer simply to get in to carry out a simple job that we need in our economy? Part of what I think our plan does, it really does accomplish, an opportunity for people to get it done right. We don't have questions on them anymore. What I think our plan does, I think it means that people who are going to be here will be able to live with their head up and not in hiding. No American citizen has to live in hiding. And no person here legally ought to be in hiding and ought to have their head down; ought to have their head up.

REPORTER: So it is a change from what you wrote then? I just want to be absolutely clear. Before you were saying they didn't have to go back. Now you're saying they do. That's a change. I mean just to be blunt with us, isn't that a change?

HUCKABEE: It is a change if you want to say that they're going to make the circle but it is not a deportation of the government, it is a self-imposed lets get this thing right, it is a matter of getting into the proper line and thats not amnesty.

LABEL: MH NH 12-14 (JC#32) EPR - ClipA

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