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Monday, March 20, 2006

Illegal Immigration: How many aliens will be enough?

Reprinted with permission from Sonoran News, Cave Creek, Arizona. Illegal Immigration: How many aliens will be enough? is the eigth and last in a series of articles on the Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security and Crime hosted by Maricopa County Attorney's Office that was held Nov. 4 – 5. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., provided closing remarks, wrapping up the Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security and Crime.

Reporter for Sonoran News

SCOTTSDALE – Long before it was popular, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., was involved in the subject of illegal immigration and its effect on American citizens.

Tancredo rallied behind the citizens of Arizona, backing their courage and resolve in getting the citizens’ initiative: The Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, known as Proposition 200, passed.

And, Tancredo was back again to attend the Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security and Crime and provide the closing remarks for the conference.

Explaining why he keeps coming back to Arizona, Tancredo said there have been “seismic changes” since the passage of Proposition 200, adding, “You made this subject approachable.” While two-thirds of all initiatives end in failure, Tancredo said, “All the people who should have been on your side took a powder.” He went on to say, “The other thing happened down at the border. The Minuteman Project showed the government if they applied human resources they could solve the problem.” Tancredo commented about how appropriate it was for the county attorney, “who took an oath to uphold the law, not just some laws,” to bring about an awareness of the problem.

“Things are changing in Congress,” said Tancredo, “Every day I go back, someone has introduced a new bill.” He mentioned “Enforcement First,” the bill introduced by Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., adding, “We may be able to get something passed.” He said the governor of Colorado announced the need for a wall on the border and, in San Diego, a wall was applauded on both sides of the border because it reduced the amount of crime on both sides.

“It’s not the entire solution,” said Tancredo, “We need to eliminate the demand.” And, until there is a secure border and employer enforcements, Tancredo said, “We shouldn’t even think about a guest-worker program.” He brought up the subject of background checks and told the audience about a “pretty scary set of facts.” Explaining there are about 4,000 adjudicators, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) employees charged with the responsibility of admitting immigrants into the United States, he said about one third of them do not have access to any criminal or background information because, as employees, their own background checks have not been completed.

Aside from the numbers of mistakes being made, Tancredo said there were “somewhere around 4,000 charges pending against adjudicators” accused of selling immigration benefits for sex, money and political favors.

He continued, “There are allegations that many of these adjudicators are under the influence of foreign countries,” adding, “The agency is in complete meltdown. We combined 22 agencies … to improve communications.

It’s in meltdown.

It’s a mess.

It is chaos. The chairman says it’s going to take five years to get this under control.

We don’t have five years.” Tancredo said, “This conference is recognition that citizens and states are willing to take on the responsibilities.

These borders need to be defended.

“Not the President, or any member of Congress, can tell you they’re doing everything possible to defend our borders.” After stating there were 40,000 OTMs (other than Mexican) from countries of interest smuggled into the United States, Tancredo pointed out, “They didn’t pay $50,000 to be smuggled into this country to work at 7-11.

“The government of Mexico aids and abets citizens who break our laws. They’re in the business of exporting their human resources to reduce the number of unemployed in their country, destabilizing the pressures of massive unemployment and poverty.” While acknowledging the Mexican government must do something, Tancredo said they were locked into socialist policies and said they also need to get rid of corruption.

As long as the United States remains a relief valve, he said wage rates have stagnated and have actually gone down.

Citing the federal government needs to stop Mexico from assisting drug smugglers, he noted, “It falls to you in many ways where the federal government has been AWOL.

“I’d like to think Governors Napolitano and Richardson have seen the light. But I think it’s just for show,” said Tancredo, who challenged them both by saying, “If you are serious and mean what you say and want to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States,” he said they should do two things: Place military (National Guard) on the border and build a fence.

Instead, Tancredo said, “They spent federal money to pay for overtime for people to watch the Minutemen.” Tancredo went on to say, “We haven’t even begun to discuss what we teach our children in schools. What we teach our children in schools is the cult of multiculturalism of Americans who don’t want to be American.” When people come here from other countries, Tancredo said they need to disconnect from the old, connect with the new and learn English.

“This is an important part of this discussion,” said Tancredo, “America is a country.

It’s a great nation. America, as a nation is worthwhile; it deserves our faith, our allegiance and our prayers.” And, as part of that debate over what it means to be an American, Tancredo said “We should pass a law, immediately, to end anchor babies.” Answering a question about how to impart a sense of scale to the problem, Tancredo said, “We try all the time,” adding, “At least three million come illegally every year – not all stay. Population growth is a result of immigration.” He said, “I cannot for the life of me understand why we don’t get more support from environmental groups like the Sierra Club,” concluding, “How many is enough? When will you say there are enough people in this country? If I wanted to live in a country where there are wall-to-wall people I’d move there.”

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