Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hutchinson: Illegal Aliens Also a State Responsibility

At an event in Springdale, GOP Nominee for Governor Asa Hutchinson laid out his plans to reduce illegal immigration should he be elected Governor. Hutchinson was responsible for border security during his stint at the Department of Homeland Security.

“There are still too many who say that immigration is a federal matter only, and that states have no role in enforcing our laws. That’s an old way of thinking, and one that simply isn’t acceptable anymore,” Hutchinson said. “In a post-9/11 world, we must acknowledge that border security does not stop in El Paso or New York City. Illegal immigration impacts states like Arkansas by straining state resources and undermining the rule of law.”

Like most Americans, many Arkansans are incensed over the illegal aliens flooding our state. To see Hutchinson's four point plan on what he would do as Governor to curtail Illegal Immigration, click THURSDAY below and scroll down. ( I'd also link to Attorney General Mike Bebee's plan, except he doesn't have one. All we hear from the Bebee camp on this issue- on ANY issue- is the sound of cricket's chirping, mingled with a faint cry of "I believe in Arkansas". Then let's hear your plan to protect her Mr. Attorney General.)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

“Those who come to the United States and Arkansas legally, who have respected our laws and have worked to achieve the American dream, they represent many of the very success stories that have made our country great,” Hutchinson said. “But we need to send a clear message to those who do not respect our laws, who have cheated others who have followed the rules, that they will not be rewarded for their behavior. We must also send a message that those who facilitate illegal activity will also be held accountable.”

Noting the explosive growth of illegal immigrants in Arkansas in recent years, Hutchinson said that Arkansas taxpayers were the ones shouldering the costs of such illegal activity. “When Arkansas taxpayers are footing the bill, when our state’s law-abiding employers are left uncertain of the status of their workers – clearly, this is a state problem,” he said. “As Governor, I’ll work with our law enforcement agencies to give them the tools they need to partner with federal immigration authorities and to fight illegal immigration here in Arkansas.”

Hutchinson laid out four specific proposals for how Arkansas state government could work in partnership with federal and local governments to more effectively combat illegal immigration in the state:

1) Strengthen the partnership between the State of Arkansas and federal immigration enforcement authorities

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. As required by federal law, such training would place an emphasis on civil liberties and racial profiling training for local law enforcement officials.

2) End “Catch and Release” in Arkansas for those arrested by state and local authorities

1. Enact legislation that mandates state and local jail authorities make every reasonable effort to verify the lawful status of prisoners, and alert immigration authorities of potential release of illegal aliens back into the community. Such legislation would provide for appropriate training of jail authorities.

2. Develop a training program for local law enforcement to use during their routine daily law enforcement activities to identify illegal aliens through the federal Law Enforcement Support Center and to share information with federal immigration authorities.

3) Reduce employment opportunities for illegal aliens

Enact legislation mandating that the Arkansas government participate in the federal work authorization program (the Department of Homeland Security’s Basic Pilot Program) to verify the legal status of all new employees. In addition, this legislation would stipulate that no public employer shall enter into a contract for state services unless the contractor registers and participates in the work authorization program.

4) Reduce document fraud by creating more secure state identity documents

Enact legislation that creates a full-time investigator position in the Arkansas State Police for investigating the counterfeiting of identification documents for the purpose of unlawfully establishing legal status

“Our nation’s illegal immigration problem has been decades in the making -- it didn’t arise overnight and it won’t be solved overnight,” Hutchinson said. “But 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.”

6:21 PM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

for a pdf file that has some interesting background information on the four points go to....!UserFiles/PDFs/Immigration%20enforcement%20FINAL%206.22.06.pdf

6:22 PM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

What does this mean?

Asa is moving forward with a unified ticket and an issues-based campaign that is in line with the rest of the Republican ticket.

Strategically, Bebee is in real trouble here. This is not a silver bullet, but in real life campaigns the silver bullet either does not exist or is not usable until your opponent has been set up for it. Bebee is being set up right now.

Bebee can't run with his ticket, and he can't respond with his own detailed plans without undermining his strategy- which is to run a "content free" campaign and hope for tradition and party label to carry the day for him. He can't agree with these proposals without angering some of his liberal base and his big contributors. But he can't disagree with the proposals because they are so commonsense.

Even the establishment media is going to get tired of him running such a substanceless campaign when the entire rest of both tickets is throwing the media and the public red meat to write/talk about. Bebee is going to have to abandon his strategy if he wants to win in November. He may not know it yet, but he is going to have to change his plans and come out with some concrete positions.

Asa's team is staking out issue after issue, scoring points. Bebee's team has not done so since the Oklahoma watershed issue. When Bebee first did that, I wrote that Asa was in trouble because Bebee was cutting into Asa's base. Now that effort is floundering in court, and Asa is staking out well-thought-out positions that can cut into parts of Bebee's base. Bebee can't counterpunch on any of these ideas, or Asa's rural schools ideas, without losing votes.

So no silver bullet yet, but a drip-drip-drip erosion of Bebee's goodwill and support. Eventually Bebee must react. Reactions can be dangerous. Bold policy positions can be dangerous if they are not well thought out. Getting drawn out like that, when your opponent has already staked out a lot of popular ground, can put you in a risky position - those are the circumstnaces where that silver bullet can be found and used.

7:01 PM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analysis, Mark - the only thing I would add is that Beebe has staked out some very general positions that will make it very difficult to retreat from.

For instance on immigration, MIke Beebe has repeatedly said that immigration is a federal issue only and the state has no business in enforcing immigration laws.

On rural schools, Beebe has said that he is not willing to adjust any measure. His actions at the capitol have spoken volumes on this issue.

On abortion, he has tried to straddle the fence but not very well. He said that abortion is between a Woman, her doctor and God. a.k.a - he is pro-choice.

lastly, Beebe has said that he would support a lottery.

These statements have cornered him into a position where any retreat will look political and desperate.

What do you think?

7:18 PM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

You are right, so he is doing the only thing he can- attack Asa while contining to offer no substantive proposals of his own.

Right after I wrote that analysis I stopped by the ArkTimes site and caught team Bebee's- delivered by Zach Wright while Bebee was off somewhere, hiding behind the curtains I guess- response.

They score some hits on Asa as far as border security failures, but absolutely fail to make the case that they would do better. It was all attack, with NO SUBSTANTIVE PROPOSALS of his own.

The longer he holds back, the less effective it will be when he tries to crawfish walk away from the prior positions you mentioned. He will have no credibility on his "new" positions on illegal aliens or rural schools. What Bebee is trying to do is give Asa the SAME PROBLEM by playing up seeming contradictions between Asa's platform now and his policy positions at DHS.

Too bad for Bebee that he won't be able to get that message out to penetration level with Mr. and Mrs. Average voter. There is a guy out there named Jim Holt that Asa is on the ticket with whose name has become synonomous with "tough on illegals". Asa is doing an event with Holt this Saturday. The two are connected in people's minds, though Asa is seen as the more moderate of the two, there is no way Bebee is going to be able to make the case that Bebee/Halter will be tougher on this than Hutchinson/Holt and DeLay.

Asa should be judged more on what he does when he is his own man as Governor, and not when he was locked into George W Bush's and GOP establishment policies- which are nothing less than a betrayal of America's working class when it comes to illegal aliens.

7:30 PM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

It seems like every time Bebee talks policy, it only reminds voters that he is a doctrinaire liberal only pretending to be a "good ole boy". McDaniel in the AG race is the same. For Lite Gov., Halter does not even pull off the good-ole-boy act well. He is just a West-coast liberal with sleazy business dealings where his investors lost money but he gained it- and he and Bebee agree on all those issues you mentioned! SOS Daniels is the closest thing they have to a real Good Ole' Boy- too bad for them he is incompetent and quite possibly corrupt and most of the state now knows it.

So Bebee CAN'T talk policy, it gets him in trouble. But nature and media both abhor a vacuum. Asa will be glad to get the earned media that Bebee is forfieting with his "Rose Garden: strategy by laying out detalied policy positions that most voters agree with and setting the agenda. If this keeps up, by November most voters will have been nodding their heads "yes" to Asa's ideas for six months straight will Bebee remains silent on substance. When it comes time to pull the lever what do you think they are going to do?

Bebee is being manuevered into position where the Rose Garden is not going to work for him. It only works if the opposition ALSO stays vague and short on substance.

8:02 PM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Mark, I am proud of Asa for standing up for the rule of law. Attacks on his time at DHS will not work because for one he did a good job - no terrorist attacks - many foiled attempts. A 47% increase in deportations - thousands of new border patrol, a new system to track those who have student VISA's to make sure they return after their education etc...

But also, as you mentined, Asa was not in a policy position. He was simply implementing the Presidents policies. We can now see that Asa and the President don't agree on everything.

6:59 AM, June 23, 2006  

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