Mike Huckabee Disparages Immigrants In Speech At Iowa Summit

CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) backstage at the 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit.

DES MOINES, IOWA — At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that the U.S. needs to secure its borders to prevent people from entering the country who do not have the right intentions and who may just be crossing the border to exploit the America’s “free” commodities.

During a conversation with mega GOP donor Bruce Rastetter, the former Fox News host suggested that while some immigrants are coming into America because they “embrace our way of life,” others are only here “because they heard there is a bowl of food just across the border” and other goodies like free divers’ licenses, education, health care, and even the right to vote. The crowd responded with applause. Watch it:

Despite these comments, Huckabee has a somewhat mixed record on immigration. Though he opposes President Obama’s immigration actions, as governor, Huckabee granted children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition at state universities and has recently suggested that children brought into the United States by their parents (so-called DREAMers) should be placed on a path to citizenship.

“I don’t believe that it is a just thing to punish someone who had nothing to do with the breaking of the law,” Huckabee said earlier this year during a forum hosted by the Family Foundation, a Christian advocacy group that lobbies the Virginia legislature. “What I want to do is see, what can we do to put that person in a position where they do abide by the law and become a citizen? I would like that person to become a very generous tax-paying citizen rather than somebody who is going to take taxes away from the rest of us.”