Beebe responds to Asa on immigration | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Beebe responds to Asa on immigration

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2006 at 5:50 PM

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe sends this response to Asa Hutchinson's call to get state government more involved in fighting illegal immigration:

With animosity growing among mainstream Arkansans about the problem of illegal immigration, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson today tried to cover his tracks for his own failures to fight illegal immigration when responsible for border security at the Department of Homeland Security.

"Mr. Hutchinson is now saying he’ll finally take the actions against illegal immigration he was asked to take when it was his job at Homeland Security.  But if he didn’t take action with all the federal resources at his disposal, why should he be trusted with it now?" Zac Wright, Beebe spokesman said.  "He’s a day late and a dollar short.  It’s a little childish to ask for a second chance now at the Arkansas taxpayers’ expense."

Mike Beebe has already talked about the need to crack down on illegal immigration and said that this problem arises because of the federal government’s failure to tackle the issue.  It was Hutchinson ’s responsibility at the Department of Homeland Security.

In contrast, Mike Beebe has already called for tougher penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.  Hutchinson reduced the action taken against such employers by 99 percent while he was responsible for it at Homeland Security.

Wright pointed to Hutchinson’s "second chance campaign" on immigration.

More after the jump. Plus a response to the response from the Hutchinson campaign.

Hutchinson’s Second-Chance Proposal

Hutchinson’s Failures The First Time Around

Hutchinson wants to “implement a formal agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and state and local law enforcement agencies that will provide federal training, and subsequent authorization, to state and local law enforcement to identify, process, and when appropriate, detain immigration offenders they encounter during their routine, daily law enforcement activity.”

 

Hutchinson , in 2003, said he would “not ask local police departments to assist the federal government in arresting illegal immigrants.” (Gannett News Service, 02/26/03)

 

 

 

Asa now claims to understand that “illegal immigration impacts states like Arkansas by straining state resources and undermining the rule of law.” He wants to “end ‘Catch and Release’ in Arkansas for those arrested by state and local authorities.”

When Asa Hutchinson was in-charge of border security at DHS there was no policy to return illegal immigrants to their home countries, except for illegal immigrants from Mexico .  As such, most were released and disappeared into the United States . (Joint Hearing of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Subcommittee and the Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 03/14/05)

 

Asa Hutchinson, while Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, “suspended mass roundups of illegal aliens.” ( Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 01/15/06)

 

According to National Review, “Asa Hutchinson… shut down a border-patrol initiative to catch illegal aliens.  Reason?  It was catching too many illegal aliens.” (National Review, 12/13/04)

Asa wants to “Reduce employment opportunities for illegal aliens.” He now claims that “we must send a message that those who facilitate illegal activity will also be held accountable.”

Under Asa Hutchinson’s management, action against employers for hiring illegal immigrants dropped 99.3 percent.

 

Under Asa Huchinson’s watch in 2004, immigration authorities issued penalty notices to only three companies compared to 417 just five years earlier.  [The New York Times, 3-05-06, Government Accountability Office, “Weaknesses Hinder Employment Verification and Worksite Enforcement Efforts,” Report GAO-05-813, 08/31/05]

 

Hutchinson said today he wants to “Reduce document fraud by creating more secure state identity documents”

Asa Hutchinson, in 2003, said Mexico has the right to issue identification cards used largely by illegal immigrants “to open bank accounts, obtain driver’s licenses, turn on utilities and enroll children in school” in the United States.  He said there are benefits to the use of these cards.

(The Associated Press, 01/31/03)

 

 

 

“We can take positive, aggressive steps now to more effectively enforce the law, ensure public confidence, and help to restore integrity and credibility to the nation's system of legal immigration. As Governor, I pledge to lead that charge.”  -- Asa Hutchinson

 

During the 25 months Asa Hutchinson was in charge of securing the borders, more than a million illegal immigrants were added to the country’s population.

 

RESPONSE FROM HUTCHINSON CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN:

"Arkansans are getting weary of Mike Beebe's negative attacks every time Asa presents the ideas he'll act on as Governor to move Arkansas forward.

"Mr.   Beebe sends his spokesman out to attack and distort Asa's record while the Attorney General presents no substantive ideas of his own. Does Mike Beebe disagree with the ideas Asa's laying out? If yes, he should say which ones. If not, then he should support the effort or get out of the way.

"Asa Hutchinson says the state can -- and should -- take steps to deal with illegal immigration in Arkansas, while the Attorney General says it is a federal issue only. That's an old way of thinking that's no longer acceptable."


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