Mike Huckabee has released his immigration plan called “The Secure America Plan: A 9-Point Strategy for Immigration Enforcement and Border Security.”
ON first read, I’m not terribly impressed. It seems long on fairly general promises and short on details. Take this example:
2. Increase Border Patrol
Increase the number of border patrol agents.
Fully support all law enforcement personnel tasked with enforcing immigration law.
Well, okay, but what does that mean? Let’s say that in a Huckabee administration, we get a dozen more border patrol agents. Well, obviously that would satisfy the plan, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough. So how many more border patrol agents does he intend on adding? The plan doesn’t say.
And what does “Fully support” mean? Is it simple moral support using the bully pulpit of the Presidency, funding support, or legislative support to make the immigration law more simple and easy to enforce? Again, no real clue here. The other place this happens is on legal immigration reform. That, after the jump.
Improve our immigration process so that those patiently and responsibly seeking to come here legally will not have to wait decades to share in the American dream. Governor Huckabee has always been grateful to live in a country that people are trying to break into, rather than break out of.
Again, okay, but how?
Most folks will agree that this should be done. I’d suggest that most folks who know anything about the legal immigration process know that the system can not simply be improved. We’re going to have to nearly gut and rebuild the process so that we can process the legal immigrants quickly and accurately and we need to substantially increase the number of people we have processing and investigating those applicants.
Notice, also, what is not here. There is no provision for improving our ability to track people who are here on tourist or student visas, no plan to increase the number of ICE personnel who process and investigate legal immigrants, no mandate to have every single legal immigrant in the country provide there whereabouts to us on a regular basis and to have those whereabouts occasionally verified, and no plan to deport the illegal immigrants who we already have in custody or who are in jail for crimes they committed while they were here.
Those are big holes in what Huckabee touts as a “Secure America Plan”.
There’s more of this than I’d like in the plan. You can’t develop a truly comprehensive plan as a candidate that’s going to cover all of the bases and be approachable to potential voters. But you do have to cover the big parts with some small level of detail. Huckabee didn’t really do that. It looks to me like he went back and read the objections to the recently-defeated comprehensive immigration reform then just rejiggered those complaints to looks like points in an action plan. It doesn’t look to me like he understands the real problems with our immigration system and he’s just trying to salve the critics before they get wound up.
That’s not a plan. That’s a campaign strategy.
UPDATE: Oopsie daisy! Looks like there’s another thing Huckabee’s people didn’t brief him on, besides the NIE on Iran.
Makes me wonder what other really important things he doesn’t know much about.