GOP Gov. Barbour lobbied for Mexico on ‘amnesty’ program: report

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, February 14, 2011 16:08 EDT
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WASHINGTON – Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), a rumored 2012 presidential contender, lobbied on behalf of Mexico last decade for a program that would have assisted unauthorized immigrants with gaining permanent residency.

That’s according to a report in TIME’s Swampland blog by Michael Scherer, who obtained State Department filings revealing that Barbour’s lobbying firm — Barbour, Griffith & Rogers — lobbied for Mexico on the program in 2001 and 2002.

Barbour’s firm was paid $35,000 a month by Mexico, plus other expenses.

The revelation could create political problems for the Mississippi Republican, the current chairman of the Republican Governors Association and important player within the GOP, if he decides to run for president. The Republican base is fiercely opposed to any kind of legalization program for unauthorized immigrants.

Barbour’s firm helped Mexico build Congressional support for a bill relating to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which would have allowed undocumented immigrants in the United States to attain legal visas and permanent residency based on job skills and family connections. They would have to pay a fine but would not have to return to their country of origin.

The effort was denounced by conservative critics as a “mini-amnesty” program.

“This amnesty loophole allowed aliens who broke our laws to pay a $1,000 fine and go to the head of the line in front of prospective immigrants who complied with our laws,” wrote conservative Phyllis Schlafly in 2002.

A similar provision was eventually championed by the Bush administration in its attempts to overhaul immigration in 2006 and 2007. The legislation ultimately failed, with the legalization program serving as a dealbreaker for too many Republicans.

Barbour has largely embraced his lobbyist past, but his conservative supporters aren’t likely to ignore this aspect of his lobbying, especially if Barbour seeks the Republican nomination for president.

He’s widely considered a dark-horse candidate, garnering only a few percent of the Republican vote in most national polls.

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  • Anonymous

    This guy is a Total DICK.

  • Guest

    This guy is the picture of a used car salesman from the South being allowed to go past his “Peter Principle”.

  • Anonymous

    So, he was for it before he was against it. That has a familiar ring to it. LMAO

  • Anonymous

    Shortest presidential candidacy ever.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    He’s a coyote,he took the money promising to get ‘em here then turned them in to get them sent back. That way the lobby money will come back when it comes up again. Thief,taking money from both sides,true repugg.

  • Anonymous

    Would even a republican want this guy running for president? He is governor of Mississippi. Mississippi, the state with the highest obesity rate, least healthy population and health care, one of the highest teen pregnancy rates(abstinance only working real well, ya”ll. praise the Lord) , and on top of that a hypocrite. what could he do for our nation? Turn us all into Mississippi. Why do they even give him a national platform, he should be irrelevent.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EHJJXSTSSOCXLTSQBUVIDYUF7M Dave

    He’s a whore for the republican business constituency that wants to get rid of american workers and replace them with illegal immigrant scabs that work for half the money.

    It’s typical republican class war tactics.

  • Guest

    I’m not so sure it would matter. The republicans down here have a 5 second attention span, so whatever flimsy excuse Barbour offered would be accepted as gospel truth by the faithful.
    Believe it or not, there are some decent people here, but none of them ever seem to get into office.

  • Anonymous

    Awww…you’re going to be leaving us soon…I’m gonna miss my Tubby Gov’eee. :(

    Please run for President! I want to watch you squirm, I want to watch your arteries harden LIVE on television, and I want this bacon fat-filled Twinkie smell to go away for a few months.

    You dirty, crooked, Porky Wallace looking punk…

    Get the fuck out.

    Don’t come back.

  • TeddyOrwell


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6YBHLDOEMFAXOYVP5ZJN43MMWQ vinnysabba

    Let’s try and get this immigration issues straight. It has two components. One American business types get cheap labor which works for the business guy (low wages) and the laborer. The worker gets to send money home to his poor family in a place where an hours wage here is a days pay there. That’s the economic end.
    Now on the political side they get to bash the “illegal Aliens”, blame them for a laundry list of minor problems. The “base” gets whipped up and the insane political diatribes fill the internet. Read the comments section on Yahoo on any immigration based topic. These people are hysterical- but not in a funny way
    So you can have your low wages and still blame the little guy. Works for them!

  • Guest

    Wasn’t this guy the catalyst for a soon-to-be-made blockbuster movie called “JOWLS”?

  • Anonymous

    Republicans are always on the side with the money and they can’t understand why others can’t see that money is more important than any silly ethics or beliefs.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    Yeah like even independents are stooopid enough to vote for another Southern White guy again! Romney gets creamed 2012 and the GOP is never again a serious national party.

    I know you Wingnuts think the O man is beatable but what minority have you NOT insulted in the past 4 years? Seriously don’t ya read the papers White people are becoming a minority. The GOP’s ONLY hope is to game the computers AGAIN!

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    Do you really think the Baggers are going to forget that he had to borrow $7 or $8 million from Taiwan businessmen to keep the GOP out of Bankruptcy when he was the head of the party?

    Oh yeah that will go over real well with the xenophobes!

  • Anonymous

    If you tories pay him with your “funny-loser” money that has jefferson davis on it, he will probably give you all blow jobs while whistling “dixie.”

  • Anonymous

    I have to give you credit. Tennessee is the state where the klan started. Many thought it was good ol’ Miss. I knew a few SNCC’s from your place. They made $10 a month . The good old days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aimlow-Joe/100001322297444 Aimlow Joe

    You know that this guy takes his marching orders from the Brotherhood of Darkness…
    Every man has his price and Barbours is 35 grand a month.
    Aimlow Joe was here.

  • Anonymous

    Like any Southern good old boy since time immemorial, Barbour is interested in one thing above all else: cheap, ethnic labor.

  • Anonymous

    I say let all these crazy Republicans run in the primary–the more money these candidates eat up in the primary the fewer dollars the Party will have left for the general election campaign.

  • Anonymous

    Barber/Palin 2012!

    Marbles in the mouth, marbles in the head.

  • Anonymous

    The deluded dip shit has embraced his lobbying past and is ostensibly running for POTUS. He’s basically kissed his political ass goodbye even before he starts. I think I heard Barney Frank referring to some of the GOP as the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. Well now there’s Haley Barbour to complete that picture. Actually they’ve got a veritable cast of characters for a rewrite of Alice in Wonderland.

  • Word Warrior

    Why is a sitting Governor allowed to own and operate a lobbying firm?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6EWDTDGGPM2NUB23WZXTLKO6DI Lorili

    Between kissing Mexico’s ass and kissing Israel’s ass I’m surprised if this clown even knows he’s American.

  • Anonymous

    It amazes me that people see such a difference in the two parties. Both “parties” engage in corruption, greed, sense of entitlement, war, and power over the people of America. It’s all about them, not us. They just pretend to be different to keep up the lie that it matters what the “little people” think. Washington needs a huge enema!