Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) suggested in an interview Friday that he supports the border security deal crafted by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and shunned the idea that a path to citizenship would be contingent on fully securing the border.
Asked on Fox News whether he sides with those two senators and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or opponents of the immigration bill like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Huckabee chose the former.
"I'd say probably the Rubio, Corker, Hoeven [side]," Huckabee said.
Huckabee said that an immigration reform bill is "necessary" but also urged caution in passing it too quickly. While he praised the compromise efforts, he emphasized that Republicans have plenty to lose if they don't get border security right.
He also said he doesn't like the idea of so-called triggers that would allow illegal immigrants a path to citizenship once certain border security requirements are met.
"You don't just wait and do nothing on the pathway process while you're working on the fencing," he said. "And let's be clear: We're never going to have 100 percent border security. There's always somebody who's going to find a way to break into the system."
Huckabee's fellow Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly, endorsed the immigration reform compromise Thursday night. Other conservative talkers, including Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter, have mobilized against the bill.
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