Time: Haley Barbour Lobbied For Mexico On 'Amnesty'

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Mississippi Gov. and potential 2012 GOP contender Haley Barbour has sought to defend his lobbying record by arguing that the president is little more than the lobbyist in chief. Time's Michael Scherer digs up some evidence that suggests, as we all know, that the distinction between lobbying and being an elected representative is a bit more complex than that:

Barbour may be eager to showcase his record, but one of Barbour's foreign lobbying clients could cause him some troubles in the 2012 Republican primary, if he decides to run. According to a State Department filing by Barbour's former lobbying firm, The Embassy of Mexico decided to retain Barbour's services on August 15, 2001, to work on, among other things, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for foreigners living illegally in the United States--what opponents of immigration reform call "amnesty."

"Haley Barbour and I will lead the BG&R team," wrote Lanny Griffith, Barbour's former business partner, in the filing. According to subsequent filings, Barbour's work included "building support in the legislative branch for passage of a bill related to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act." As part of that work, Barbour's firm arranged meetings and briefings with "Senators, members of Congress and their staffs, as well as Executive Branch Officials in the White House, National Security Council, State Department, and Immigration & Naturalization Service." Barbour's firm charged Mexico $35,000 a month, plus expenses.

At the time, Mexico was seeking an extension of a provision that allowed undocumented immigrants living in the United States to receive legal visas or green cards without returning to their country of origin, provided they pay an additional fine.


Read the full story at Time.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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