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Abe Hamadeh may be the biggest hypocrite on the ballot (and that is saying a lot)

Arizona Republic 9/19/2022 Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic

It is all the rage, these days, to rail about “alien invaders.”

Republicans hoping to move up the political food chain have turned it into a high art form.

Kari Lake vows to start deporting immigrants “on Day 1,” when just a few years ago she talked about granting them amnesty.

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Rick DeSantis, in an appalling bit of performance art, apparently saved Florida last week by flying 50 Venezuelans in search of asylum from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

But when it comes to sheer chutzpah, nobody does it better than Abe Hamadeh. The man has displayed a level of gall unmatched by anyone running in Arizona’s Nov. 8 election.

And that is saying quite a lot.

'Honest Abe' complains about border crossers

“Honest Abe,” as he sometimes calls himself, is hoping to become Arizona’s next attorney general, a job he plans to win by standing on the necks of immigrants.

“Help Abe fight to Save Arizona,” he pleads on his website. “Arizona needs an AG who will stop the lawless invasion at the border. Donate $10 or more to help Abe fight!”

“Help Abe Win Arizona,” he says. “Arizona needs an America First Attorney General who will restore law and order to protect Arizonans’ freedoms and stop the invasion at the border. Donate $10 or more to help Abe fight the well-funded establishment.”

“We’re going to have a surge more of illegal immigrants crossing, and we’re going to be apprehending them instead of expelling them back to Mexico,” he tells Newsmax.

Hamadeh portrays himself as the son of noble immigrants who played by the rules, waited their turn and lived the American dream, producing this 31-year-old legal prodigy now campaigning to become Arizona’s chief legal officer. 

The immigrant family that did it right, as opposed to all those immigrant trespassers who Hamadeh vows to prosecute.

“My parents proudly came to the United States LEGALLY in 1989 and were rewarded for waiting in line LEGALLY with U.S. citizenship in 2007 and 2009,” he said in a written statement to The Arizona Republic’s Tara Kavaler in August, when she began asking questions about his background.

He won't tell you he was an 'anchor baby'

It’s the part in between his parents’ legal entry and their citizenship ceremony that Hamadeh glosses over. Yet to ask questions about that is proof, he charges, of a partisan plan to attack “conservative people of color.”

Or, perhaps, it’s proof that illegal immigration is not quite the simple good versus evil story that Hamadeh and his most ardent supporters would like us to believe. That perhaps immigrants aren’t all, as Hamadeh’s America First crowd would have you believe, criminals and layabouts looking to lay waste to our land. 

Where they stand: Hamadeh, Mayes answer criticisms during forum

Because it turns out that Hamadeh was that which prompts much weeping and gnashing of teeth in some Republican circles – an “anchor baby”. 

A U.S.-born child of two illegal immigrants, one whose existence spared his parents from deportation and set them on the golden path to getting the golden ticket: American citizenship.

The Republic’s Kavaler reports that Hamadeh’s father, Jamal, came to the U.S. from Syria on a six-month visitor’s visa in May 1989. Only he didn’t leave when his visa expired.

And 18 months later, in May 1991, baby Abraham was born.

His parents asked for mercy to avoid deportation

Jamal caught the attention of immigration authorities a few years later when he was accused of a crime.

The charges eventually were dropped, but in 1996 he and Hamadeh’s mother were ordered to leave the country, according to a report by the Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly newspaper that covered a criminal case.

So they asked for mercy, as so many immigrants do.

“He has two United States citizen children and he has not been convicted of any crime … ,” Jamal’s attorney wrote, in a court filing seeking a stay of deportation and obtained by The Republic.

“If the petitioner were deported from the United States, not only he, but his immediate family would suffer irreparable harm and he would be separated from his family for (a) long period of time.”

Long story short, Hamadeh’s parents were allowed to stay in the country and eventually applied for and were granted U.S. citizenship.

Hamadeh's supporters would've kicked him out

Now their son proudly touts his endorsement by Donald Trump, a president who wanted to end birthright citizenship – one who separated more than 5,500 children from their immigrant parents as part of his “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossers.

Hundreds of those children have never been reunited with their parents.

Meanwhile, the Trump-endorsed Hamadeh vows to prosecute people like his parents.

Oh, he’s focused on the ones who cross the border, but more than half of immigrants who are in this country illegally are people who overstayed their visas.  

“The federal government has absolutely failed, and it’s very deliberate,” he told Newsmax.  “So, as attorney general, and we have a good governor, we got to start rebuilding that wall on state land. We got to start enforcing state prosecutions, going after the human smuggling and all the drug coming in, and prosecuting the illegal immigrants as trespassers.”

So says the America First candidate who is hoping his tough talk about the “border invasion” will catapult him into the state’s No. 3 job.

I wonder if, in his zeal to get elected, he even realizes that Team MAGA would have denied him citizenship and kicked him and his parents out of the country?

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Abe Hamadeh may be the biggest hypocrite on the ballot (and that is saying a lot)

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