POLITICO – Barbour denies pushing ‘amnesty’, as reported by TIME

Haley Barbour is pushing back against a report that he helped the government of Mexico push for “amnesty” during his time as a lobbyist.

Barbour’s statement of denial on Monday came in response to a Time magazine story pointing to a lobbying disclosure form his firm BGR filed with the state department acknowledging that it had been hired by Mexico to help on legislation aimed at finding a “path to citizenship” for Mexican citizens living illegally in the United States.

Barbour issued a statement and fact sheet Monday night — and though neither explicitly says BGR did not work on citizenship issues for Mexicans living in the United States, it asserts that the firm Barbour founded “never advocated amnesty for illegal aliens.”

“One reason I’ve been successful as Governor is that I’m plain-spoken and use common sense. I tell people what I think, not what I think they want to hear,” Barbour said. “Before there can be immigration reform, we must secure our borders. Only after that can any reforms be achieved, and those can’t include amnesty. Everybody knows we are not going to put ten or twelve million people in jail and deport them. Once the border is secure, we should develop a responsible guest-worker program and it can’t include amnesty.”

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2/15/11