Huckabee: I'll deport their babies! UPDATED WITH DENIAL

In this week's cover story, Matt Snyders describes the disappointment of a questioner at a Fred Thompson rally upon learning that Fred is too lazy to deport Hispanic babies. To wit:

"I appreciate your tough stance against illegal immigrants. But what about the babies? Those that are born here? Are there policies you could make to deport them?"

Thompson shuffled his feet and deftly answered, "Well, I don't believe the president can change that with the stroke of a pen. I believe the courts have interpreted that as falling under the 14th amendment."

The woman wilted ever so slight in her folding chair, visible disappointed that her candidate wasn't willing to deport American babies for the crime of being born Hispanic.

Cheer up, xenophobes! Mike Huckabee has your back after the jump!

An article in today's Washington Times says that Huckabee is vowing to pass an amendment to the Constitution to deny birthright citizenship:

Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.

Mr. Huckabee, who won last week's Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.

This is in stark contrast to Huckabee's policies while serving as Arkansas governor. Buried on the second page of the Washington Times article, after a lot of blather about a related but different issue, there's this:

Mr. Huckabee has defended his policies on illegal aliens while he was Arkansas governor. He pressed for illegal aliens to gain college tuition benefits, complained about federal immigration raids in his state and declined to have state police enforce immigration laws, although the state legislature gave him the authority to do so.

This is obviously the ghost of Tom Tancredo, who may have dropped out of the race, but succeeded in injecting immigration as a major issue in this campaign. As our sister paper wrote on its Demver convention blog after Tancredo dropped out in December:

At the CNN debate earlier this month, Tancredo noted that on the immigration front, the other candidates Republicans were beginning to "out-Tancredo Tancredo."

This might also be an attempt by the Huckster to outflank John McCain, who is expected to have a good showing in New Hampshire but is too soft on immigration for the base.

UPDATE: Mike Huckabee is denying the claims made in the Washington Times:

News Release: Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee statement on Constitutional Amendment regarding citizenship birthright January 08, 2008

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has issued the following comment in response to a Washington Times article reporting he would amend the Constitution in connection to children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens:

"I do not support an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship."

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