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April 10th, 2009
05:03 PM ET

Commentary: Immigration debate without true border security is a fraud

Tom Tancredo is a former congressman from Colorado.

Tom Tancredo is a former congressman from Colorado.

Tom Tancredo is a former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado and founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation.

There are two main political obstacles to a new amnesty bill in this session of Congress.

First, the White House has other priorities despite the whining from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. If President Obama and Rahm Emanuel were all that committed to a new amnesty bill as a top priority, the National Council of La Raza would not be sending out a newsletter alert asking its followers to bombard the White House, Reid and Pelosi with calls and emails demanding action “Ahora!” - which they did yesterday. The fact is, the economy makes any such proposal “DOA” in Congress without a full-court press by the White House - which is not going to happen—and even then it would be a loser.

Second, Senator McCain managed to secure the Republican nomination only after neutralizing the amnesty issue by telling Republicans—“I've got the message: border security must come first.” If he now supports an amnesty bill while the border fence is incomplete and border security is still years away, he will be universally chastised as a fraud.

The bottom line? Let’s build the fence, a true double fence like we have in San Diego, increase Border Patrol manpower to 25,000, and only then have a national debate about what to do with the 20 million illegal aliens already here. A debate without true border security is a farce and a fraud.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tom Tancredo.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. David in lafayette

    To NA-
    Yes, all of came from immigrant stock. I am Irish, but that was a hundred years ago, so that argurment doesn't wash.

    Business owners would rather pay some one off the books or less that what the market will bear, so the argurment that illegals take jobs no one wants is a half -truth. They don't want the jobs because of he pay, so lets level the paying field. ICE and the Deptment of Justice sould financially break the backs of anyone hiring illegals.

    We should also deploy the National and patrol both of our borders, end to end. Everyone else on this planet make a better effort of securing its borders than the USA.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  2. Hidden Agenda

    i say we do away with the border completely and allow goods and people to flow freely across our southern border in either direction. I am very wealthy and live in a gated mansion and pay no income tax. Let the middle class pay for the costs of massive social services for uneducated migrants and also let them pay to bail out me when my gambling bets dont work out. I like hiring migrants who dont have any rights and work dirt cheap. I want all the wealth for myself!!!!!

    April 12, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  3. lance sjogren

    Johnny said:

    "IF Obama is going to give Amnesty to all these illegal immigrants, the American people are going to be very pissed off and not vote for him next time around."

    1). Obama's not the real problem, Congress is. Obama can be expected to support amnesty, the Democratic Establishment demands it. The American people, however, must demand that Congress reject it.

    2). One of the reasons amnesty has gotten as far as it has in the past is that there are Republican collaborators, and John McCain is the worst, along with Lindsey Graham and Mel Martinez.

    Amnesty won't be totally dead until we throw some of these traitors out of office. What is wrong with South Carolina that they would re-elected Lindsey Grahamnesty, the guy who told in a speech to a left wing racist group that those who support enforcement of the immigration laws are bigots.

    What is wrong with Republican voters? When are we going to get these creeps out of office? How in the hell can Arizonans support ballot measures to crack down on illegal immigration and then re-elect Juan McAmnesty?

    April 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  4. lance sjogren

    kelly:

    They could try to hide the hundreds of billions of dollars of costs that amnesty would generate behind the multi-trillion dollar destruction program they currently have in progress, but they couldn't hide the massive unemployment and social wreckage that it would cause.

    April 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  5. lance sjogren

    Tancredo has a history of being overly pessimistic about the danger of amnesty being signed into law.

    The fact that he believes it has no chance of being signed into law in the current economic and political environment is a testament to the fact that it is dead on arrival.

    Another point is that radical left Congressman Luis Gutierrez is going around the country on a pro-amnesty dog and pony show.

    If the only member of Congress the Democrats can dredge up to peddle the policy is a fringe wacko like Gutierrez, that is another good indication it is headed nowhere.

    Besides, the Obama admin has said it would open up a debate this year on the issue.

    I would expect nothing less. I was pointing out last year that Obama would know amnesty is a political disaster but that he would make a half-hearted push for it to placate the open-borders lobby and be able to tell them "he tried", knowing full well that it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. (thankfully)

    April 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  6. glen

    if you dont spend money on security it will come bavck and bite you. criminals love soft targets. security along the border is a joke and has to be reinvented

    April 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  7. N/A

    As the son of illegal immigrants, I know how hard it is. To many people, they think of us as a job-stealing people. But we are not. We are people who value family, care and love this nation, and get insulted, screamed, beat up and spit on everyday. In our native countries, corruption is rampant, it is the law of wild, and we come here for a better life, and better life for their sons and daughters. Many of the foods you know, like pizza, tacos, nachos, and spicy combinations come from the immigrants homeland. We suffer the hardships of every person here in America. Every American can relate from immigrants. The people who formed this nation were immigrants, coming from Europe to have a better life. The Irish, The Chinese, The Jewish Community, The Italians, everybody in this nation have an immigrant relative, either from the distant past or from the near past. The only thing ICE does is terrorize immigrants and split up families, give immigrants fear of reporting crimes to their local law enforcement, and taking part in the U.S Census. Please, take this consideration.

    April 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  8. Kelly

    I am bitterly opposed to any type of amnesty, especially since I remember the debacle of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. The broken enforcement promises, the broadening of the inclusiveness over the next ten years, the lack of ability by INS (ICE) to investigate fraudulent applications, lax restrictions (some workers needed only show 90 days of farmwork) and so on.

    But from the standpoint of the expense of results of an amnesty, strategically it would make sense to pass an amnesty now. With all the money being thrown around, it would be impossible to assign (possible to hide?) a dollar amount to the results of an amnesty for at least 12 million people.

    April 11, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  9. MaryJ

    We were promised one-time only amnesty in 1986, in exchange for strict enforcement of our immigration laws. The pro-illegals got their amnesty and we got nothing! To quote that great philospher Pete Townsend of The Who, "We Won't Get Fooled Again." No amnesty! Not now, not ever.

    April 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  10. publiussteve

    The American people were promised immigration enforcement along with the amnesty in the supposed one-time 1986 IRCA amnesty. After the mass amnesty was granted, the enforcement disappeared. There is NO reason to believe anything would be different this time. And there is no valid reason to couple enforcement with amnesty. As the recent Rasmussen polling shows, we demand that our immigration laws are (finally) enforced with NO form of any "comprehensive reform" amnesty - especially now with 13 million Americans out of work.

    April 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  11. Janice

    As always, former Congressman Tom Tancredo is right on target and speaks for many Americans who are sick and tired of the political pandering from both parties. He is to be commended for raising the issue of illegal immigration while a member of Congress. Wish there were more Tancredo's. We owe him more than a "thank you". Hopefully,
    he will continue speaking out on the issue.

    April 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  12. R Golich

    Tanc is johnny on the spot once again. B. Hussein is a wimpish, pandering leftist, who's real allegiance lies outside the USA. In his warped world view, the USA should be flooded with poor 3rd worlders in order to quickly make them shiny, new democrat voters and thus establish left-wing, statist dominance for decades to come.

    It is pointless to discuss so called immigration "reform" when you don't categorically state that it is a crime to enter the USA without permission (a visa) and it's another crime to work with stolen ID's, commit social security fraud, income tax evasion, etc. The correct punishment for illegal aliens is ..... deportation. Anything else is pandering to them. The chronically corrupt Mexico will continue to empty out half of it's population unless Americans say no to their invasion.

    Without stopping the flood of half of Mexico and Central America, immigration "reform" is just Washington-speak for amnesty and pandering to the militant Latino lobby and business's interest in never ending supply of cheap labor.

    April 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  13. Ron Bass

    I agree.
    We need real border security. iIdon't understand why our Federal Government and the four southern border states have not secured their borders. in a post 911 world this makes no sense.
    now with the drug cartel wars spilling across the border into our country the failure to secure our borders borders on insanity.

    April 11, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  14. Barbara Mark

    Bravo Tom! We can count on you to carry the tourch of moderation until this high taxation and amnesty issue is resolved for moderation.

    April 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  15. Barbara Mark

    Bravo Tom!

    April 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  16. Ali Alexander

    Mr. Tancredo, you forget–true border security includes not only security from illegal entry but also security from legal entrants who violate the terms of their visas and overstay. The U.S. Visit program is intended to address this, but after $2 billion and several years of work, is still unable to track the EXIT of foreign visitors. Such overstays are estimated to comprise 40% of the illegal aliens in this country and quite likely ARE taking betters jobs that Americans are and would love to be doing in that they are likely to be better educated, possibly speak English and may even have legal SS numbers through legal employment as students or skilled guest workers.

    April 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  17. VivaLaMigra

    Too bad a RINO [Republican in Name Only!] like John McCain [known South of the Border as "Juan McAmnesty!"] fooled the GOP primary voters so badly. With "Republicans" like McAmnesty [aka McNasty] along with fellow travelers John Kyl, John Cornyn, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Arlen Specter, who needs Democrats?

    The "economic boom" under Dubya was a fraud, created by cheap money [low interest rates, excess gov't spending]. Now that it's collapsed, there are NO "jobs Americans won't do." Obama should be telling illegal aliens [that is, foreign nationals whose presence within US territory is contrary to law!] that it's time to repatriate – ie. Go Home! If they can qualify for lawful admission – great. If not, then build a "better life" for yourselves and your families in your homeland. Americans did it; why can't Mexicans, too?

    April 11, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  18. Johnny

    All I can say is.. IF Obama is going to give Amnesty to all these illegal immigrants, the American people are going to be very pissed off and not vote for him next time around. We Americans have a hard enough time in this country finding jobs as it is, and to let illegal immigrants start coming over here and work and take our American jobs away from us is a damn shame and a disgrace. I have been out of work myself for over 1 year, every 1 of my bills are in collection agency, and the thought of illegal immigrants coming here to take American jobs away from us makes me "not proud" to be an American anymore. The problem is, USA is getting over populated, too many kids having babies for 1, and too many foreigners coming here and living and taking our good American jobs away from us. People say "Mexicans will work for cheap and do the jobs Americans won't do here for the low pay rate"... Well.. Pay Americans what they are worth and the Americans WILL do the job. We can't let all the foreigners come over here all the time...This country will be so over populated in a few years that we will run out of food and resources.. This has to stop.

    April 11, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  19. ed

    ive been bombarding the white house pelosi and harry reid as well as my senators and rep about an operation wetback type approach
    i try to do this at least three times a week when i get real wound up will do it just for stress release
    i dont know if im doing any good but at least we aint goin down without a heck of a fight . being retired i got a lot of time on my hands and what better way to use it i think . i just feel in a panic to fight this all over again
    o knew last time the time would come wed have to ffight again and we will with all we got. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2009 at 12:39 am |
  20. Dan Howard

    God bless Tom Tancredo. A true American Patriot. This is the kind of man we need for Commander-in-Chief. One of the last Reagan-esque leaders!

    Dan Howard
    Tulsa, OK

    April 11, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  21. James

    Americans were told that the amnesty of 1986 was supposed to be a "one time only" amnesty!
    As usual these worthless good-for-nothing politicians are lying to
    us once AGAIN!

    Americans fight this amnesty with all the power you have left in you!

    http://www.numbersusa.com (for free faxes to your worthless
    Reps.) And Call, Call,Call your Reps!

    April 10, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  22. Apostate Democrat

    Bring our troops home from Europe, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. We are going broke defending all the world's ingrates and idiots. Put them on our own borders. If we do that we won't need a fence and we can secure our borders with a much smaller border patrol. As usual Tom is right. We should not even consider debating what to do about the 20 million plus illegal aliens who are here until we have secured our borders.

    April 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  23. Himtngal

    Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is absolutely right. Many Americans are unified behind border security and immigration law enforcement, unlike the now defunct McCain campaign and RINO Republicans. We can no longer tolerate traitors, quislings and spineless sellouts from either party who only work to destroy America.
    CNN should frequently allow Congressman Tancredo to appear more often – or better yet, give him his own show and watch the ratings jump.
    FOX hired Huckabee, why I don’t know. Illegal immigration is a timely issue and people are looking for another point of view other than the open borders lobby. I just may return to CNN if Tancredo gets a spot. So will millions of others interested in America’s sovereignty. Frequently, he stands in for radio talk show hosts in Colorado; the lines are jammed with callers. Try it, you’ll like him.

    April 10, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  24. Himtngal

    Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is absolutely right. Many Americans are unified behind border security and immigration law enforcement, unlike the now defunct McCain campaign and RINO Republicans. We can no longer tolerate traitors, quislings and spineless sellouts from either party who only work to destroy America.
    CNN should frequently allow Congressman Tancredo to appear more often – or better yet, give him his own show and watch the ratings jump.
    FOX hired Huckabee, why I don't know. Illegal immigration is a timely issue and people are looking for another point of view other than the open borders lobby. I just may return to CNN if Tancredo gets a spot. So will millions of others interested in America's sovereignty. Frequently, he stands in for radio talk show hosts in Colorado; the lines are jammed with colors. Try it, you'll like him.

    April 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm |