“Terrorists.” “Drug runners.” “Human traffickers.” Those are the words that the presumptive Republican nominee associates with immigrants in his 2016 video “Feed, Fuel, Fight,” released in April of 2016. While most Republican presidential hopefuls are vying for the Latino vote by, Mike Huckabee basically gave up. As governor of Arkansas he supported Dreamers, arguing that they should have in-state tuition and a pathway to citizenship. As a 2008 presidential candidate he supported comprehensive immigration reform. Now he’s got a new policy: secure the border first.

On his official website there’s no section for immigration policy in general, just an area marked “Border Security.” While Huckabee has stressed compassionate enforcement in the past, there’s nothing about immigrant’s rights in his position statements yet in this campaign. Huckabee’s main message is that immigrants are depressing wages. How would he fix that? Presumably by deporting immigrants and trying to prevent any more from getting inside the country. Mike Huckabee has dismissed critics who point out that “securing the border” may be technically infeasible, and insists that keeping immigrants out is his top priority.

To rally supporters to this point, he routinely demeans the aspirations of economic immigrants and connects them to criminals and terrorists. For the millions of Latino voters who count undocumented immigrants as friends, relatives and neighbors, that kind of demonization isn’t going to play well. Let’s be clear: Huckabee never calls immigrants terrorists, but he can’t seem to talk about them in separately. He doesn’t say that all undocumented immigrants are lazy drug-dealing leeches, but he still implies that many or most come to America to take more than they give.

"We're talking about hundreds of thousands of drug dealers, terrorists... people who can come across the border with a rocket launcher on their shoulder”  

[This Fox News Clip Can Be Viewed Here]

 

“Without a secure border, nothing matters”

 

“I Don’t Speak Spanish”

This quote wasn’t caught on tape, but it explains a lot about how Huckabee likes to pivot on Latino issues.

“I do not come to you tonight with the ability to speak Spanish [...] But I do speak a common language. I speak Jesus.”