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  1. #1
    tms is offline

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    Tancredo District!!

    Various News about Tancredo's Wall on the border!

    New York Times
    December 24, 2005

    Capitol's Pariah on Immigration Is Now a Power


    DENVER, Dec. 21 - For nearly a decade, Representative Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado, has been dismissed by his critics as little more than an angry man with a microphone, a lonely figure who rails against immigration and battles his own president and party.

    So radical were his proposals - calling for a fence along the United States border with Canada, for instance - and so fierce were his attacks on fellow Republicans who did not share his views that many of his colleagues tried to avoid him. Mr. Tancredo said Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser, had told him not "to darken the doorstep of the White House."

    But last week, the man denounced by critics on the left and on the right suddenly emerged as an influential lawmaker. Pressured by conservative constituents angered by the continuing flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, Republicans rallied around Mr. Tancredo to defy the president and produce the toughest immigration legislation in more than a decade.

    Mr. Tancredo and his allies fought successfully to strip the measure of any language offering support for Mr. Bush's plan to provide temporary legal status for illegal immigrants working in the United States. And he helped win support for provisions that once seemed unthinkable to many lawmakers, like the construction of five fences across 698 miles of the United States border with Mexico.

    Mr. Tancredo did not get everything he wanted. He still wants a moratorium on legal immigration, soldiers on the border, a longer fence (and one along the border with Canada) as well as a law that would deny citizenship to children born to parents who are not citizens or permanent residents. And many Republicans and Democrats say it seems unlikely that the border security bill passed by the House last week will become law in its current form, if it ever becomes law at all.

    But as a jubilant Mr. Tancredo returned to his office here this week, there was little doubt that he had become a symbol of the ascendancy of deeply conservative thinkers in the bitter Republican debate over immigration policy. The lonely firebrand had become the man of the moment, and he could not help but marvel at the wonder of it all.

    "I would have said to you a month ago or so, 'Yeah, it's definitely the case that I am a pariah,' " Mr. Tancredo, 60, said. "And a lot of people don't want to get near me for fear of being tainted or something."

    "But it has changed, and I have had the greatest feeling of respectability lately," he said, laughing. "I joke with people all the time now. I say, 'I've got to find a new issue because I'm way too mainstream.'

    "I'm, like, respectable and respected. I mean, it leaves me speechless."

    It leaves his critics outraged.

    Advocates for immigrants sent press releases after the House passed the border security bill, accusing the Republican Party of threatening vulnerable immigrant communities by catering to the extreme right. Business leaders, who had pushed their traditional allies in the Republican Party to support Mr. Bush's guest worker plan, fumed.

    Republicans, like Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, who lost the battle to include at least a mention of the guest worker plan in the bill, shook their heads in frustration. Asked whether Mr. Tancredo and his allies had more success in the negotiations over border security than did supporters of Mr. Bush's plan, Mr. Flake responded, "You bet."

    But Mr. Flake said he believed that many Republicans voted for the bill because they believed it would never become law. Mr. Bush had said that immigration legislation should include his guest worker proposal, which would allow those currently in the United States illegally to work here legally for a few years before being required to return home and, if they chose, apply for re-entry. And the Senate is expected to take up such a measure next year.

    With midterm elections looming, Mr. Flake said, many Republicans simply wanted to address voter concerns about securing the border.

    "We weren't so much making law as making a statement here," Mr. Flake said. Mr. Tancredo's allies countered that his support from fellow Republicans was more than a matter of political expediency; they said it signaled a shift in the immigration debate.

    "Tom was like an Old Testament prophet crying out in the wilderness, and finally people are starting to listen," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigrant Studies, an advocacy group that wants strict limits on immigration.

    Mr. Tancredo laughs at the furor. He is genial and ruddy faced, a grandson of Italian immigrants who loves hunting and keeps Oliver L. North's "Mission Compromised" on his bookshelf. And as he settled in a chair this week to ponder his career, his hands sliced and diced the air. ("It's the Italian in me," Mr. Tancredo said, describing his gestures. He says he sees no contradiction in his strong views and his own immigrant ancestry.)

    After he was first elected to Congress, in 1998, Mr. Tancredo tried to draw attention to his stance on immigration by giving late-night speeches on a House floor almost entirely devoid of spectators but broadcast by C-Span. He created an immigration caucus, got 16 Republicans to join and became its leader.

    Today, Mr. Tancredo has a caucus with about 90 members and a reputation as a go-it-alone politician willing to sacrifice almost anyone - including his colleagues - to his passion for enforcing and tightening the nation's immigration laws.

    In 2002, he read a front-page article in The Denver Post about parents who were struggling to send their son to college. They were ineligible for financial aid because they were illegal immigrants. Outraged that the family felt comfortable enough to appear in plain view, Mr. Tancredo called the immigration authorities and asked to have them deported.

    He has infuriated members of his own party by attacking President Bush and by siding against Republicans in Congressional races when their opponents share his views on immigration. Mr. Tancredo said he got into a shouting match with Mr. Rove after telling The Washington Times that Mr. Bush would have blood on his hands if he did not toughen the nation's immigration laws. Mr. Tancredo said that was when Mr. Rove told him not to darken the White House's doorstep.

    "What kind of guy is this," Mr. Tancredo said of Mr. Bush, "who picks and chooses the laws he enforces?"

    The White House declined to characterize the Bush administration's feelings or Mr. Rove's feelings about Mr. Tancredo. When asked about him, Erin Healy, a spokeswoman for the White House, said, "We worked with a number of members in the House on immigration reform."

    The border security measure would make it a federal crime to live in the United States illegally, which would turn millions of immigrants into felons, ineligible to win any legal status. The bill would make it a crime for employees of social service agencies and church groups to shield or offer support to illegal immigrants.

    The legislation would also require the mandatory detention of some immigrants, would withhold some federal aid from cities that provide immigrants with services without checking their legal status and would decrease the number of legal immigrants admitted annually by eliminating a program that provides 50,000 green cards each year.

    "This is a gesture to the xenophobic wing of the party, and that is alarming," said Cecilia Muñoz, a vice president at the National Council of La Raza. "It threatens extraordinary harm to people."

    Mr. Tancredo fears that moderate Republicans, allied with the White House, business leaders and immigration advocates, may derail his efforts by sinking the bill. And so he is considering taking extraordinary measures, including running for president in 2008.

    "We just took one more island in the chain leading to Tokyo," Mr. Tancredo said, using World War II imagery to describe the battle to pass the House immigration bill. "But there are still a lot of bloody battles to fight."

    Los Angeles Times

    Illegal immigration, and not party loyalty, is Rep. Tom Tancredo's burning issue.

    By Mark Z. Barabak

    Times Staff Writer

    December 27, 2005

    WASHINGTON - As night settles over the Capitol, Tom Tancredo is seated in his congressional office, smoking a fat cigar and nursing a plastic tumbler of scotch.

    The president is unhappy with him, the Colorado Republican says. So are GOP House leaders. One congressman, a California Republican who wants Tancredo run out of the party, is badmouthing him all over town. Tancredo exhales a billow of blue smoke.

    Life is good.

    With Congress weighing the toughest border security bill in years, the four-term House member from suburban Denver has emerged as the GOP's most prominent voice on immigration - the one "to place our goal posts," as he puts it.

    He has done so with a blow-torch persona and uncompromising stance that pays no mind to party labels or diplomatic niceties, international or otherwise. His forum is talk radio, the political press and the food-fight shows on cable TV, which feast on each deliciously provocative morsel:

    President Bush is a hypocrite on border issues. Republicans shill for big business. If Islamic terrorists attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons, we should bomb Mecca.

    To critics, Tancredo is a hatemonger and mean-spirited demagogue. To supporters, he is a rare politician with the spine to speak his mind (and theirs as well). Either way, his talk of militarizing the border and hunting down and deporting millions of illegal immigrants has complicated White House efforts to put a friendlier face on the GOP and court Latino votes. That explains why so many of Tancredo's enemies are fellow Republicans.

    "Party I couldn't care less about," he says. "If it gets hurt by this, it deserves to be hurt."

    Tancredo - pronounced Tan-CRAY-dough - is even pondering a run for president in 2008. Not to win - he doesn't kid himself - but to put illegal immigration front and center, even if that drives a wedge further in the GOP.

    "There are times when being in the minority looks better to me," he says. "You can certainly be closer to your own principles. Maybe that's what this party needs is to get kicked in the butt."

    So far Tancredo has traveled to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina - three early voting states - imploring voters to press each presidential candidate on immigration and "not let them equivocate."

    Last month, in another bit of heresy, he campaigned for independent Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman freelance border patrol, in his unsuccessful congressional run against Orange County Republican John Campbell.

    The crowd of 125 or so in Newport Beach booed and hissed the president when Tancredo recounted Bush's condemnation of the Minuteman Project. The same day that Bush had criticized the citizen patrol, Tancredo was on the Arizona-Mexico border praising its heroism.

    "Needless to say, I am not on the guest list at the White House," he said merrily.

    Tancredo dates his interest in immigration to his years as a teacher dealing with bilingual education. "It was far more political than educational," says Tancredo, the grandson of Italian immigrants. He suggests that today's newcomers are more likely to segregate themselves as "some hyphenated something or other" than try to assimilate.

    He sees his work on immigration as part of a larger fight to save Western civilization from a "cult of multiculturalism" that threatens to cleave the country into ethnic fiefs.

    "It's of no consequence to me where you're from," he says, shouting over the roar of the Orange County crowd. "All that I ask of you is that when you get here, you become an American!"

    To some, that talk is not just ugly but wrong, suggesting that the aspirations of today's immigrants are somehow different and less noble than, say, those of Tancredo's grandparents.

    Nobody likes illegality or wants to hurt the economy or "undermine the American way of life," says Tamar Jacoby, an immigration expert at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. But Tancredo's punitive approach is not a solution, she says; it hurts Republicans by casting the party "as unrealistic and anti-immigrant."

    Tancredo's stance on border security is all stick, no carrot. He favors tougher policing, stiffer penalties for employers hiring illegal workers, and changes in federal law so the children of illegal immigrants are not automatic U.S. citizens.

    He says a guest-worker program, the heart of Bush's approach, should be considered - skeptically - only after the borders are sealed and the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country have been sent home. Anything less amounts to amnesty for criminals, Tancredo says.

    His foes may wish to marginalize him; most willing to be quoted for this article insist that Tancredo is irrelevant to the immigration debate. Still, he has forced Congress to move his way. The immigration bill that recently passed the House was stripped of language supporting a guest-worker program, after a Tancredo-led revolt.

    "If the president were going to call six to 10 people and lock them in a room and say, 'Solve this problem,' my guess is Tom would not be on the list," said Walt Klein, a longtime Colorado campaign strategist and friend of Tancredo. "But my guess is by the time they got to the meeting, they'd be fully aware of what Tom Tancredo has been saying for the last two, three years."

    At 60, Tancredo has a contrary streak that is nearly a lifetime long. As a boy, he watched old-time Westerns and rooted for the Indians. (He can't remember why.) In 1960, he supported Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy, pitting him against the nuns at his Catholic high school and all but one other student in a 90-2 straw vote.

    Tancredo was teaching junior high civics in Denver when he first ran for public office as a way to encourage student involvement. It was 1976 and, after Watergate, Republicans were desperate for warm bodies. Tancredo campaigned for the state House as a reformer, listing the family spaghetti recipe on one side of his brochures and his "good government" recipe on the other.

    Once elected, Tancredo soon fell in with a group of like-minded conservatives, known as "the House crazies" for their unbending philosophy and guerrilla tactics. He left the Legislature in 1981 to head the regional Education Department office, then led the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank in Golden, Colo. He is fondly remembered for his irreverence - on his door was a sign: "Will Think for Food."

    Even now, for all his combustible rhetoric, Tancredo appears a man of good cheer and little pretense. He discounts himself as "too fat, too short and too bald" to be president.

    Speaking at Newport Beach's posh Balboa Bay Club, he recounted a trip to Target to buy emergency underwear after his luggage was lost. In a CNN interview on immigration legislation, he unfurled a long, winding metaphor about "a mail-order bride" and her "bad seed" baby when, abruptly, he stopped and laughed at the verbal mess he'd made.

    In 1998, Tancredo emerged from a crowded field to win an open House seat. He has been easily reelected despite having promised to quit after three terms because, he says, his work on immigration is so vital.

    The broken vow was all the more brazen given Tancredo's leadership in the Colorado term-limits movement, which was enraged by his turnabout.

    "I am sorry I let them down, because I did," he said of his old allies. "I would feel the same way if I were them."

    Fans admire that bluntness almost as much as Tancredo's hard line on immigration. "He doesn't resort to the typical political correctness of wanting not to offend someone," said Paul Darafeev, a 50-year-old factory owner, who showed up in Newport Beach after hearing Tancredo on talk radio.

    At times, it seems that Tancredo just itches to offend.

    When the Denver Post profiled the honor roll student of an illegal immigrant family, Tancredo unsuccessfully tried to have the family deported.

    Campaigning against the use of Mexican ID cards in the U.S., he posed in front of a mock consular photo of Mexican President Vicente Fox, drawing protests from the Mexican government.

    His call to bomb Mecca, in a July radio interview, brought worldwide condemnation, including criticism from the State Department.

    "I don't like when people call me a racist or a xenophobe, or all the rest of that," he says back in office, his voice softening. But then life is full of trade-offs. "I had to say the things I said in order ... to get the focus" on immigration.

    His efforts haven't endeared Tancredo to many colleagues.

    Darrell Issa, the California congressman who wants Tancredo banished from the GOP, says Tancredo shoots off his mouth while others do the serious work.

    "It's easy to say, 'Things are wrong and I'm the only one with the truth,' " says the Vista Republican, who has repeatedly voted for tougher immigration laws. "But it's harder to meet your responsibility."

    Tancredo scoffs. "I could spend from now until eternity in the process he's described and get squat," he says. The only reason lawmakers acted, he insists, is because of the grass-roots anger he incited.

    "It's the best use of my time," he says, "and it makes them mad as hell."

    Given his passion, then, it is surprising to hear Tancredo speak of legislation that makes him even prouder than his work on immigration.

    Tancredo was just one co-sponsor of the 2002 Sudan Peace Act. But his work fulfilled a pledge he made to himself years ago after attending a church service devoted to the tortured African nation.

    A photograph of Tancredo at the White House - "way in the back!" - and a pen Bush used to sign the bill have a prominent spot in his office, along with a cross, a sword and poster-size pictures of his grandkids. (There is also a bumper sticker reading, "Viva Tancredo.")

    He makes no effort, when asked, to square his compassion for the Sudanese with critics' portrayals of him as an anti-immigrant ogre. "That's not my job," Tancredo says. "I am who I am."

    With that, he steps from his office and strides through the Capitol, cigar ablaze. Smoking is prohibited. But Tancredo puffs away, paying no heed.

    Wall Street Journal

    Tom Tancredo's Wall The Colorado Congressman tries to make America the world's biggest gated community.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

    "We have a supply and a demand problem. The supply problem is coming across the border. We are in this bill doing something very specific

    about that with the inclusion of the amendment, with the passage of the amendment, to build some barrier along at least 700 miles of our

    southern border. I hope we continue with that, by the way, along the entire border, to the extent it is feasible, and the northern border

    we could start next."

    --Rep. Tom Tancredo (R., Colo.)

    So there you have it. Tom Tancredo has done everyone a favor by stating plainly the immigration rejectionists' endgame--turn the

    United States into the world's largest gated community. The House took a step in that direction this month by passing another immigration

    "reform" bill heavy with border control and business harassment and light on anything that will work in the real world. For the past two decades, border enforcement has been the main focus

    of immigration policy; by any measure, the results are pitiful. According to the Migration Policy Institute, "The number of

    unauthorized migrants in the United States has risen to almost 11 million from about four million over the past 20 years, despite a 519%

    increase in funding and a 221% increase in staffing for border patrol programs."

    Given that record, it's hard to see the House Republican bill as much more than preening about illegal immigration. The legislation is aimed

    at placating a small but vocal constituency that wants the borders somehow sealed, come what may to the economy, American traditions of

    liberty or the Republican Party's relationship with the increasingly important Latino vote.

    Besides mandating the construction of walls and fences along the 2,000-mile Mexican border, the bill radically expands the definition

    of terms like "alien smuggler," "harboring," "shielding" and "transporting." Hence all manner of people would become criminally

    liable and subject to fines, property forfeiture and imprisonment--the landscaper who gives a co-worker a ride to a job; the legal resident

    who takes in an undocumented relative; a Catholic Charities shelter providing beds and meals to anyone who walks through the door.

    Sponsors of the legislation, led by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner and Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, don't stop at

    targeting good Samaritans. They're also forcing the business community to simultaneously create jobs and kill jobs. The bill would make it

    incumbent on employers to establish the immigration status of all hires and empower local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

    This means small-business owners soon could find themselves not only inconvenienced by a mandated hiring database system but also

    threatened with the prospect of bankruptcy due to repeated raids and high fines. Some will throw in the towel on the GOP.

    Perhaps the bill's most revealing feature is the one that makes it a criminal offense, rather than a civil violation, to be in the country

    illegally. This would effectively turn the country's 11 million or so illegal aliens into felons and automatically disqualify them from

    gaining legal status--ever. The provision gives lie to the claim we keep hearing from Mr. Tancredo and GOP Congressional leaders that

    they're open to a guest-worker program for illegal aliens so long as we first beef up the border.

    This also smears the law-abiding aliens with the lawbreakers. If a bill with this anti-guest-worker provision ever became law, millions

    of otherwise well-behaved people who have become integral parts of thousands of U.S. communities would have every incentive to stay in

    the shadows lest they be deported. As a matter of law enforcement priorities if nothing else, this is crazy. In truth, this bill in its current form has no chance of becoming law. The Senate will take up immigration reform soon and is expected to produce something more
    feasible. President Bush has said repeatedly that he'll only sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill; that means creating legal pathways for foreign labor to enter the country and fill jobs Americans simply won't do anymore. Regrettably, the White House, in a sop to the throw-'em-all-out faction, praised the House vote. By voicing no disapproval of these over-the-top provisions, Mr. Bush legitimizes the forces that will make it hard to pass useful reform. And so a highly divisive problem may fester without solution into thenext elections. At some point, the president of the United States will have to get behind the Statue of Liberty or Tom Tancredo's wall
    "The defense of a nation begins at it's borders" Tancredo

  2. #2
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Tancredo Quote:
    The president is unhappy with him, the Colorado Republican says. So are GOP House leaders

    This is a sure sign that you're doing something right.

    Keep making them mad Congressman Tancredo and YOU will end up being the POTUS !!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    GO TOM!!

    We support you all the way.

    The reporter from the WSJ ends with "The President will have to either get behind the Statue of Liberty or Trancredo's Wall."

    Hmmmm. Interesting choice.

    Get behind Tancredo's Wall or the Statue of Liberty will need a Sombrero!!

    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  4. #4
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    President Bush has said repeatedly that he'll only sign a comprehensive immigration reform bill;

    Tell him he'll sign what we tell him to sign.

    "Sign right here on the line, Private Bush."

    Private G.W. Bush, Wackident
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    GOOD ONE LegalUSCitizen!!

    "private bush"

    I LOVE IT!!

    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  6. #6
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    We have several forms for him to sign. They should be ready by Monday.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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