Rep. Tom Tancredo
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., dismissed the suggestion of prominent columnists to introduce a bill of impeachment against President Bush for lack of border enforcement, saying his immigration reform bill will do what is necessary to stem the flow of illegal aliens into the U.S.
This week, WND columnists Patrick Buchanan and Joseph Farah called for legislation to begin the impeachment process due to, as Buchanan wrote, Bush’s “conscious refusal to uphold his oath and defend the states of the Union against ‘invasion.'”
Wrote Farah: “President Bush has had nearly five years in office to honor his oath of office and enforce immigration laws in this country.
“He has not only failed, he has intentionally neglected this sworn duty, instead claiming he prefers to promote a vague immigration ‘reform’ plan that involved a ‘guest worker’ program that has served as an encouragement to the most massive influx of illegal immigration this country has ever seen. ”
Despite Tancredo’s consistent criticism of the president’s record on border enforcement, he says a better solution is to pass legislation instituting more stringent regulations on employers of illegal aliens and thus reduce the demand for illegal workers.
“The best thing to do is to see what we can accomplish,” Tancredo told WND in a telephone press conference. “There are great many factors playing on our side,” stressing the pendulum is swinging toward those who seek definitive action to deal with the nation’s porous borders.
Said the congressman: “Right now, I’m kind of hopeful. Things are moving our way, and I don’t think anything like [an impeachment bill] is necessary to keep this momentum going.”
Tancredo says if Congress passes stringent legislation, the pressure will be on the president to enforce it.
The Colorado lawmaker told reporters Republican leadership in the House has indicated an immigration bill will be considered this year. The question is what form it will take.
Long an outspoken leader on the issue of illegal immigration, Tancredo is offering his own bill, H.R. 3333, the REAL GUEST Act of 2005. Besides stepping up enforcement at the border, the congressman’s bill includes a provision requiring employers to use a now-voluntary “insta-check” program to verify the legal status of potential employees. A bill by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., also makes the program mandatory, but, unlike Tancredo’s measure, only for those newly hired.
Besides Tancredo’s legislation, there are two prominent reform bills in the Senate – Kyl’s and the McCain/Kennedy bill – and Bush has indicated he will have a detailed plan ready for consideration at the end of this month. The president has focused on a guest-worker program that critics say amounts to amnesty for illegals.
“My bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that takes into consideration the needs of labor by creating a guest-worker program,” Tancredo explained, “but that program can only go into effect once certain requirements are met in terms of securing our border and reducing the number of people in the country who are here illegally.”
Tancredo says the key to solving the problem is cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens.
Explained Tancredo: “If we can stop the employment of people who are here illegally, a huge part of this problem goes away.”
The congressman says his approach will remove concern about the high cost of rounding up and deporting those illegals currently in the U.S.
“You will find people by the millions, frankly, will return to their countries of origin,” Tancredo said. “If they do not have a job and do not have access to social-service benefits, there really aren’t any option.”
Tancredo noted the issue of illegal immigration “is reaching critical mass in this country. Something will happen … to force this nation to come to grips with this problem.”
Referring to Bush as having an “open borders” approach, Tancredo decried the fact that current immigration laws regarding employment are not being enforced by the executive branch.
“The laws are on the books,” he said. “Is there anyone out there that believes there are no aliens in this country working illegally?”
He says the laws not being enforced should either be repealed, or the government should “actually enforce them.”