But he also went a step further, hinting that those children should be put on a path to citizenship — a position more in line with Democrats and DREAMers than some of Huckabee’s more conservative Republican peers who are also weighing bids for the presidency.

“I don’t believe that it is a just thing to punish someone who had nothing to do with the breaking of the law,” Huckabee told a crowd hosted by the Family Foundation, a Christian advocacy group that lobbies the Virginia legislature. “What I want to do is see, what can we do to put that person in a position where they do abide by the law and become a citizen? I would like that person to become a very generous tax-paying citizen rather than somebody who is going to take taxes away from the rest of us.”…

“Here’s what I’d like to know: Do you want to come here to make America a better place?” Huckabee said. “… If you do, then we have a very different line for you to get in than those who say, ‘No, I want to change America. I want it to be more socialistic, I want it to give me things for free. I want it to cater to my culture. I want the banks to all have a number where my language can be entered and I can get money withdrawals in the language of my choice.’ ”