The Washington Times reports that, as governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee failed to sign an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would have enabled the state to enforce federal immigration law. In campaigning for president, Huckabee touts his record of cracking down on illegal aliens. And Huckabee did sign a bill that had to be enacted in order for the state police to arrest them. However, signing the bill was not enough. Huckabee also needed to sign an agreement with DHS in order to secure training for state police officers. Without such training, state poilce cannot enforce federal immigration law.
But Huckabee did not sign such an agreement. And, according to Jeremy Hutchinson, the Republican state legislator who sponsored the immigration enforcement law in question, the Huckabee administration “never [made] any effort to begin negotiating with Homeland Security.”
The Huckabee campaign claims that “the clock ran out” — in other words, it didn’t have enough time to enter into an agreement with DHS. Yet, according to the Washington Times, Huckabee signed the law in March 2005, giving him more than 20 months to negotiate with the feds. His successor as governor (a Democrat) was able to begin negotiations less than 12 months after he took office.
In Massachusetts, by the way, the process ran the opposite way. Mitt Romney signed a cooperation agreement with Homeland Security officials towards the end of his adminstration, but his Democratic successor promptly rescinded it.
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