Romney Campaign - Huckabee's in-state tution for illegal immigrants


Huckabee Said He Did Not Support Giving Illegal's Tuition Breaks. "Ashley, first of all let me express that you're a little misinformed. We never passed a bill that gave special privileges to the children of illegal’s to go to college. Let me tell you what I did do. I supported the bill that would have allowed those children who had been in our schools their entire school life, the opportunity to have the same scholarship that their peers had, who had also gone to high school with them and sat in the same classrooms. They couldn't just move in in their senior year and go to college. It wasn't about out of state tuition, it was an academic meritorious scholarship, the academic challenge scholarship." (CNN/YouTube, [Unverified Transcript], Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, St. Petersburg, FL, 11/28/07)


Huckabee Claims About His Push To Give Illegal’s In-State Tuition Breaks Are Circumspect

Huckabee Said That In Arkansas He Supported A Program Where Illegal Aliens Were Granted "Scholarship[s]" For Doing "Academically Well." FOX NEWS' BILL HEMMER: "The suggestion in tha tis that you favor giving children of illegal immigrants tuition breaks. "HUCKABEE: "Here's the deal -- he has hit me on that. Mitt Romney has tried to hit me on that. What I supported was the idea that if a student had been in our Arkansas high schools and had done academically well to be able to compete for an academic challenged scholarship which was meritorious then that student should be able to have the same opportunity as anyone else. It wasn't a special break. It was something that a person had earned." (Fox News' "Live," 11/14/07; )

Huckabee Claimed That The Bill Would Reward Illegal Children Who Stayed Off Drugs And Alcohol. HUCKABEE: "The one area I'm being attacked on is while governor I did propose that if children had been in our public schools for their entire career and had excelled academically, that we would allow them to go to college in Arkansas and be able to also have the academic challenge scholarship and pay in-state tuition because, after all, they were in-state students and had earned that same academic standing as others. The idea is they had to be citizens or in the process of applying. They also had to commit to making sure they were drug and alcohol-free. And the basic concept, and I know this is still an anathema to some people, I don't believe you punish the children for the crime and sins of the parents." (Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," 11/15/07)

But His Claims Have Proven To Be False:

The Scholarship Portion Of The Bill Was Stripped From The Bill. "The bill began as one touted by Gov. Mike Huckabee to allow undocumented Arkansans to qualify for state-sponsored academic scholarships the same way as legal residents. The governor, who drew criticism from some quarters for backing the proposal, said children who have been good students deserve the same opportunities, regardless of their parents' standing. Hard-liners, led by state Sen. Jim Holt, R-Springdale, said 'illegal aliens, 'as they prefer, have no rights because they're lawbreakers. It may not be fair to single Holt out because he had plenty of company. When House Bill 1525stalled in a Senate committee, the scholarship portion of the bill was stripped out, sending the measure to the Senate floor, where it failed twice, the final time by only two votes." (Dennis Byrd, "Federal Judge: Illegal Immigrants Qualify For Tuition Breaks, "Arkansas News, 7/10/05; )

And The Bill That Was Actually Voted On OnlyIncluded In-State Tuition Breaks For Illegals:

H.B. 1525, "Access To Postsecondary Education Act Of 2005":

Note: There Is Also No Language Regarding Staying Off Drugs Or Alcohol.

Governor Huckabee Fought To Pass The Stripped Bill Which Granted ONLY In-State Tuition Breaks For Illegals. "Other than the highway plan, the only bill in the governor's 21-bill legislative package that failed to win legislative approval was a proposal to make the children of illegal immigrants eligible for state-funded scholarships and in-state tuition to Arkansas colleges. After passing the House relatively early in the session, the bill faltered in the Senate where it was amended to remove the scholarship provision but fell just short of passage Tuesday and Wednesday. Huckabee said his office worked throughout the day Wednesday for the two Senate votes needed to pass the bill. 'I don't understand the opposition to it, I just honestly don't,' Huckabee said. 'It hurts me on a personal as well as a policy level to think that we are still debating issues that I kind of hoped we had put aside in the 1960s, maybe at the latest the 70s, and yet I understand people have deep passions about things usually they don't fully understand.'" (Melissa Nelson, "Governor Touts Successful End To Legislative Session," The Associated Press , 4/13/05)

The Washington Post Called Out Huckabee's Misleading Statements. "On Fox News Wednesday, he was asked about a bill he supported as governor that would have granted tuition breaks to the children of illegal immigrants. He suggested that he had only wanted to give such children access to scholarships. 'What I supported was the idea that if a student had been in our Arkansas high schools and had done academically well to be able to compete for an academic challenged scholarship which was meritorious then that student should be able to have the same opportunity as anyone else, 'Huckabee said. In fact, the initial bill he supported did have a scholarship provision. But that provision was later stripped out, and was not included in the legislation that Huckabee continued to push. The bill read: 'Any tuition rate that is granted to residents of Arkansas shall be granted on the same terms to all persons, regardless of immigration status, who have attended a secondary educational institution in Arkansas for at least three (3) years and who have either graduated from an Arkansas high school or received a general education diploma in the state.'" (Michael D. Shear, "Rising in Iowa Polls, Huckabee Now In Crosshairs," The Washington Post, ,Posted 11/15/07)