Mike Huckabee Opposes Arizona’s New Immigration Law
Huckabee: New Law Will Open Arizona Up To A ‘Lawsuit Bonanza’
A few hours after President Obama called Arizona’s radical immigration bill an “irresponsible” and “misguided” measure that “threatens basic notions of fairness,” Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) signed SB-1070 into law. Brewer claimed that her decision was made with Arizona’s best interest in mind and stated earlier this week that she would “do what I believe is the right thing so that everyone is treated fairly.” On Fox News, as Brewer signed the bill, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK) validated racial profiling concerns related to the implementation of the newly signed law and told host Neil Cavuto that it is going to open the state of Arizona up to a “plethora of lawsuits” that will prove “very, very costly”:
Here’s the dilemma: it’s going to open Arizona up to a plethora of lawsuits. You’ll have so many lawsuits that it will be very very costly to the state of Arizona. And here’s the real challenge. [...] This is a federal problem, the feds ought to be fixing this, they ought to be standing guard at the border, they ought to be enforcing the federal laws. When you have a state that is having to jump in and take on federal laws they don’t have the money resources for this, they don’t have the personnel for this, and the legal quandary they’re going to be in is going to be substantial. [...] It’s going to be one lawsuit bonanza.
Later in the interview, Huckabee added that “Hispanic Americans have the right to be unhappy about the fact that they might be pulled over.” “If I were being pulled over because I looked a certain way, I would be highly offended,” stated Huckabee. He also remarked that the “federal government has to do something to stop the hemorrhaging of illegal immigration over the border.”
My colleague Andrea has a great post up over at Think Progress about former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) airing his concerns over the recently passedArizonan immigration law, which basically not only authorizes but requires law enforcement officials to check the legal status of just about anyone they determine could be a likely undocumented immigrant.
The bill is quite radical, and the ACLU has warned that it will likely “exacerbate racial profiling,” because police officers may check the identification of brown-skinned people before all others (how else do you identify an undocumented immigrant without knowing anything else about them)?
This is where Huckabee comes in. Huckabee told Fox’s Neil Cavuto that he is worried about the law in three areas. One, it will open up the state to lawsuits as civil libertarians and those concerned with racial profiling will turn to litigation. Two, it takes immigration enforcement outside of the hands of the federal government, who really is responsible for enforcing our laws on this issue. Lastly, it may lead to the unfair targeting of Hispanics, many of whom are in the country legally and properly, and may even be analogous to past and current racial profiling against African Americans.
I was watching the exchange as it happened, and Fox host Neil Cavuto seemed pretty torn. It was as if he wanted to attack Huckabee, but because he is a major player in the GOP establishment, he held back. That’s precisely what makes Huckabee’s objections so important. No one anywhere near as prominent in the Republican Party has spoken out against this bill. Even John McCain, former immigration moderate and “maverick,” has endorsed this radical new law.
I had many colleagues who were surprised by Huckabee’s reaction. But I wasn’t.
A long time ago, back during the Presidential primaries (it really feels like forever, doesn’t it?), I remember a liberal friend of mine asking me about the race, and I told them that out of all of the people on the GOP side, I thought Huckabee was the most decent.
My friend, an avid feminist, reacted with scorn to my suggestion, and we didn’t see politically eye to eye for a while. I can understand her reaction. On social issues, Huckabee is extremely socially conservative, maybe even radical. Yet there’s something different about the governor compared to a lot of his GOP colleagues, and I think that’s basic compassion.
I remember when Huckabee was attacked and called “Tax Hike Mike” because he raised taxes in his state. When attacked, Huckabee didn’t really disavow the charge. Instead, he defended his tiny tax hikes because they supported programs for children — like health care and school lunch programs for poor kids. He was proud to be a compassionate person and to support the people of his state.
I know it’s not a very impressive bar to set, but it seems that compassion is lacking in the modern GOP, and seeing that from Huckabee, in a way, gives me hope that there is some sort of compassion in the Republicans’ leadership, and I only hope, and I say this with all seriousness, to the chagrin of many of my progressive friends, that if there is to continue to be a Republican Party in our country’s politics, we see a lot more like Mike Huckabee, and a lot less of the Randian, everyone-for-themselves society stuff that is pushed by so many other folks in his party.