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News analysis

CPAC: Tancredo says immigration destroying U.S. culture

What if you wanted to save civilization and no one cared?

Washington, D.C.—Immigration, the political issue, came and went with a whimper at CPAC, the conservative convention sponsored by the American Conservative Union.

Tom Tancredo, a fiery secure-borders advocate and recent Colorado candidate for governor, was relegated to a small room with about sixty seats (although nearer to eighty people attended.) Still, he delivered what this tiny fraction of CPAC attendees wanted to hear.

During 30 minutes of commentary, he described Arizona’s SB 1070 as a “great bill” and a “major attack on illegal immigration.” He derided Tucson’s ethnic studies education program as “multicultural garbage” and said ending it was one of the “great things” happening in Arizona.

In response to a question by Joanne C. Daley of Cochise County, Tancredo said “Rob Krentz was absolutely killed by an illegal alien, a drug runner on his land.” The Krentz killing remains unsolved.

“He’s just one of literally hundreds of people who have suffered that outcome,” continued Tancredo, “They… are… dead. There’s hundreds. We see this thing happening all over. Of course Janet ‘Incompotano’ says the border is secure – more secure than ever. It is not secure. It is a war zone.”

Daley, a self-described Tea Party activist, added, “For the record, our [Cochise] county is now in the control of the Sinaloa cartel.”

Tancredo also derided amnesty proposals.

“Immediately when you get that status in this country you begin to apply, you can apply for amnesty for your whole family. Then they do it for their family. You go on forever.” He predicted five to ten million amnesty applications daily.

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Using Tancredo’s number, the population of the U.S. would double in one year. It was not his only leap into rhetorical impossibility.

Like other single-issue advocates at CPAC, Tancredo argued that current economic downturn is largely due to his issue. “The infrastructural cost of illegal immigration is enormous,” he claimed, pegging the cost of illegal immigration in Colorado as higher than the state’s budget deficit.

He called for an end to legal immigration, saying, “There is no rationale that I can think of to bring 165,000 people a month into the country. These are all people looking for a job.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, actual temporary workers are less than one million annually. Many are visiting artists and athletes; people in religious or cultural exchanges; au pairs; and other short-term guests. Less than half a million temporary workers hold traditional jobs (like agriculture) averaging about sixty thousand a month. DHS predicts that, annually, less than 55,000 temporary workers will make long term stays.

Tancredo went on to lament dialysis treatment for illegal aliens and claimed that illegals cross the border simply to turn themselves in to get dental work. He said many illegal aliens were getting transplant operations at the expense of needy U.S. citizens. He also asserted that public education is “dumbed down” to accommodate the children of illegal aliens, “The culture is being destroyed by a cult of multiculturalism. It is the dagger point at the heart of civilization.”

Tancredo began with a long, somewhat defensive, explanation of why his views on immigration had nothing to do with his loss in the Colorado governor’s race, citing an unnamed poll of Hispanic voting patterns. He joked that ending illegal immigration may also be the end of “the left.” But he didn’t explain how this notion squares with his contrary assertions about Hispanic views.

In lamenting his declining influence in the Republican Party, he said, “I speak for most Americans.” He also ridiculed Arizona Senator John McCain and Jeb Bush, saying “pandering will get you nowhere. You start that and people turn you off.” Of the Republican presidential candidate pool, he said “none” agree with him on the immigration issue. “Ron Paul,” he said, “won’t come our way.”

Tancredo singled out the Heritage Foundation, a neoconservative think tank, for particular scorn. “They are petrified that more Hispanics will run and have our view” although he didn’t explain why Heritage might be opposed to this.

Tancredo’s presentation was sponsored by an organization called Youth for Western Civilization. Their members—clad in black t-shirts with gothic lettering—took up reserved seats in the first two rows. Its youthful founder said the organization fights “mass immigration, multi-culturalism and racial preferences.” He also described illegal immigration as the issue that transcends all others. In 2009, well over half of the organization’s $41,000 in revenue went to paying speaker's fees.

In other CPAC events, Citizens United screened an immigration-related documentary (shot partly in Nogales, Arizona) to a nearly half-filled room. It was one of about a dozen films aimed at Tea Party meetings that Citizens United was offering for sale.

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Jimmy Zuma splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Tucson. He writes the online opinion journal, Smart v. Stupid. He spent 5 years in Tucson in the early ‘80s, when life was a little slower, swamp coolers were a little more plentiful, Tucson’s legendary music scene was in full bloom, and the prevailing work ethic was “don’t - unless you have to.”

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3 comments on this story

Feb 16, 2011, 3:31 pm
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Geez, and I thought it was jobs and the economy we were supposed to be fixing…it’s hard to see how 14M people or 4.5% of the population is responsible for 100% of the problems.

Feb 15, 2011, 8:35 pm
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Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) this week will be introducing major legislation that will Strengthening Our Commitment to Legal Immigration and America’s Security Act, abolishing the Visa Lottery, strengthen interior enforcement, and require the implementation of an exit procedure for foreign visitors (of paramount importance to enforce) to the United States. By means this is not a perfect bill, but it face the major problems associated with the illegal alien invasion.  The commitment comes in these forms: 1. Restrict the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security from issuing a mass amnesty to illegal immigrants through the use of delayed action. Deportation cases could only be deferred after being measured on a case-by-case basis. 2. Requires State, county and municipal police to participate in Secure Communities or 287(g) to fully conform to federal immigration enforcement agents.

Feb 15, 2011, 8:33 pm
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3. Requires the Department of Homeland Security to create a mandatory exit formula for all foreign visitors to the United States. 4. Eliminates the Visa Lottery that issues 50,000 green-cards despite of the individual’s educational or economic attainment.  5. Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to draft a directive every year detailing the dollar amount of federal welfare benefits received by foreign national households in each state and in Washington DC.  6. Allows states to maintain receiving federal matching dollars for covering legal immigrant children and legal immigrant pregnant women, but only after the state has provided the federal government with evidence that at least 90% of its eligible U.S. citizen children and expectant women have been covered by either CHIP or Medicaid. 7. Allows authorities to charge individuals who have used stolen identities, who are also being charged with another felony, to be charged with aggravated identity theft.

However Senator Hatch doesn’t cover the massive expenditures endured by hard working taxpayers, whose money is extracted by the IRS to pay for the annual projection of 300.000 pregnant mothers who enter America via the airports, ships or across the poorly fenced border regions. Now relating to this issue of birthright citizenship for any female who can slip across our borders, the Republican Party has introduced a bill to close this loophole, by an amendment or revision of the 14th Amendment. Of course this controversial Amendment is causing consternation through both political parties, specifically the Liberal progressives, all though their rants have not halted over the 63 co-sponsors of H.R.140. http://tinyurl.com/4loovmq

Titled the Birthright citizenship act has become a multiple billion dollar entitlement that must be reduced. The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 would add to the existing federal code, a rider that requires at least one parent of a new born to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident in order for the new born to receive instant citizenship. The Fourteenth Amendment extends citizenship to all persons born in the U.S. and “subject to the jurisdiction”; but it also grants Congress the empowerment to enforce and define the provisions of the amendment. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Congress has defined Birthright Citizenship through appropriate legislation, which for decades has granted citizenship to newborns with both parents’ illegal aliens, foreign tourists or temporary foreign job seekers and students.

The Fourteenth Amendment gives Congress the right to define birthright citizenship differently. As an addition to stopping undisclosed clandestine amnesties Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) has introduced H.R. 692 that would purge the extended family visa categories (e.g., married sons and daughters of citizens, etc.), thus ending “chain migration” as suggested by the bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission in 1997. Current immigration law allows U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor non-nuclear, adult family members, creating an endless chain of mass legal immigration, which has snowballed. Rep. Gingrey’s bill would end this practice by disallowing all adult family members from receiving legal permanent residency. America has always been sympathetic to the refugees and asylum seekers, but the unfettered movement of economic illegal immigrants is out of control and diluting in large dollars to the GDP.

The original Ronald Reagan 1986 amnesty was truly a travesty of our laws, which were intentionally neglected by the US Government and the employers. You can do your part as a voter and as pro-sovereignty American to stop this behemoth drain on the federal and municipalities that are straining to offer entitlements to seniors, veterans and other poverty stricken categories. We can no longer accept illegal aliens to our table as free meals, health care, education. Call your local Representative and more so you’re Congressional House or Senate member through the Washington Switchboard 202-224-3121.  Join your own local Tea Party to fight these years of indifference to the American taxpayer.  Explore the Pdf file “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine.” http://tinyurl.com/o6r27


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Tom Tancredo at CPAC