Mike Huckabee has often drawn criticism for being weak on illegal immigration. In 2005, as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee had supported a bill that proposed to make children of illegal immigrants eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition. His argument in favor of the bill was that it would allow children who had completed their schooling in Arkansas to have the same opportunities as their peers. It would also ensure, he maintained, that a child was not punishedóby being denied educational opportunities that he deserved on academic merit, only because of his illegal statusófor a crime committed by his parents.
While the bill was never passed, Huckabee's decision to support it was questioned. In 2007, when he was asked about it during a Republican presidential debate, Huckabee defended the bill on the following grounds:
a)The bill required stringent conditions and applied only to a student who had schooled in Arkansas from the age of five to six years onwards.
b)The student would need to have been an A-plus student, with an exceptional
record, who had completed the core-curriculum.
c)He had a drug- and alcohol-free record.
d)He had to apply for citizenship."
However Huckabee was lying. As reported on www.politifact.com, the original bill only required that the student should have gone to an Arkansas high school for three years and graduated, and that they had to sign an affidavit to the effect that they intended to pursue citizenship.