by Max Brantley
I'm not sure how I did this, but I screwed up. I got a news release from Gunner DeLay on immigrants. I thought I had posted it. When I went to add Dustin McDaniel's response, I realized I'd screwed up on the first part.
So, on the jump, first Gunner, then Dustin.
DELAY NEWS RELEASE
“The people of Northwest Arkansas know, I have been one of the leaders on the issue of illegal immigration going back to my service in the
“I need to point out that my record is in stark contrast to the record of my opponent who voted in favor of HB 1525 which would have given taxpayer funded scholarship money to illegal aliens. For someone that wants to be the chief law enforcement officer of the state, I can not understand why he wants to provide incentives for people to violate our federal immigration law”, DeLay commented.
DeLay noted that if HB 1525 had passed into law it could have led to legal action against the state for violating 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1623 of the 1996 Immigration Reform Act signed by President Clinton. That law provides that whatever benefits a state chooses to provide to illegal aliens it must also provide to U.S. citizens. California passed a law similar to HB 1525 and now they are being sued in a class action lawsuit by non-resident students of their state universities because they were not provided the same opportunity to apply for taxpayer funded scholarship money. “I hope Mr. McDaniel will explain to the voters what he was thinking when he cast his vote to undermine our immigration laws.”
DeLay set forth three proposals that he intends to take action on in the next legislative session to address illegal immigration.
First, he wants to hold employers who knowingly violate U.S. immigration law civilly liable for any public benefits utilized by their illegal employees. This would include employers that either supply bogus documents, or bogus social security numbers, or do not ask for proper documentation at all when they hire someone. DeLay explained that this can be done easily through the Medicaid Fraud Unit that is already a apart of the attorney general’s office. “If an illegal employee has utilized medicaid benefits intended for our citizens, I believe I should be able to recover those monies from the employer responsible for creating that expense to the state, “ DeLay said.
DeLay’s second idea is to create a International Fugitive Database that can be accessed through the internet. This database will include individuals that have committed a crime in Arkansas and escaped justice by fleeing across our border. I intend to work as a liaison between the State Department and our neighbors to the north and south to make sure justice is provided to victims of crime.”
Finally, DeLay supports a law that will make it illegal for a bondman to provide bail to a criminal defendant if it is known that such person is an illegal alien and he is charged with a felony. It seems to make sense that if someone is here illegally they are a serious flight risk. Therefore we need to take action to make sure they are fully accounted for.”
MCDANIEL NEWS RELEASE
LITTLE ROCK - Rep. Dustin McDaniel, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, laughed off criticism today by his opponent who said he has “undermined U.S. immigration law.”
“Gunner is just trying to divert attention away from his ticket-mate, Asa Hutchinson, for his failures at the Department of Homeland Security when he was responsible for border security,” said Melissa Moody, McDaniel’s campaign manager. While Hutchinson was at DHS, action against employers for hiring illegal immigrants dropped 99.3 percent. "Delay is just trying to throw a rabbit across the trail so Arkansans don’t see how lax Republicans are with regard to illegal immigration,” Moody continued.
“My biggest concern with Gunner’s misguided proposal is the creation of an International Fugitive Database,” Rep. McDaniel said. “There are already two databases that the Arkansas Attorney General’s office utilize that do exactly what Delay is proposing. Frankly, Gunner should have known that.”
The databases Rep. McDaniel is referring to are The FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the database administered by the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC). NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information, including criminal record history and information on fugitives, and the data contained in NCIC is provided by the FBI, as well as federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies. Furthermore, the ACIC’s database interfaces with the FBI-NCIC, as well as similar databases in the 49 other states.
Rep. McDaniel has repeatedly spoken out against illegal immigration.
During the 85th General Assembly, Rep McDaniel voted for Act 2267, establishing a Class A felony for trafficking of persons. As Attorney General, Rep. McDaniel will push for strict enforcement of this law. In addition, he has called for tougher penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and would support legislation to require all state entities and their contractors to utilize the Basic Pilot Employment Verification Program to verify the employment eligibility of perspective new hires. This is a free, on-line service offered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
McDaniel believes that immigration is an adult issue. The fact that Gunner is trying to punish innocent children puts himself with Jim Holt far to the right of Gov. Huckabee and even the republican party as a whole.
"Gunner's comments on the scholarship money are inflammatory and inaccurate. Governor Huckabee, as part of his legislative package, proposed allowing a student who has lived in Arkansas for three years, and graduated with honors from an Arkansas high school, to apply for an Arkansas Challenge scholarship, regardless of where his or her parents are from. On this issue, Gunner is outside of the mainstream of even his republican party nationally and in Arkansas,” McDaniel said.