A leading voice in Congress for tough immigration reform believes President Bush’s plan to allow millions of illegal aliens to remain in the country will not pass, but he fears his colleagues will open the door wider.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
“If something comes out of this Congress, it’ll be worse,” Tancredo said, noting Democrats want to make it even easier for illegals to stay in the United States, and many Republicans would support them.
Bush has proposed sweeping changes that would allow the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens thought to be in the country to remain if they have a job and apply for a guest-worker card. The immigrants could stay for renewable three-year periods, after which they could apply for permanent legal residence.
Responding to a caller, Tancredo said he is aware citizens who fiercely oppose Bush’s plan will not find support in the Senate.
“There isn’t a member of the Senate you can look at as a stalwart on this issue,” the congressman said. “Not one.”
Tancredo said lawmakers wonder: “Are there enough people who would say this is their No. 1 issue; or would the economy, jobs, education and all the rest still take precedence?”
He said most of his colleagues think “if they can finesse it, if they can just get by it, give lip service to, ‘Yes we’ve got a problem,'” that is enough.
In fact, he believes he is so isolated in his position that Tancredo-for-president movements are beginning to crop up across the nation.
Laughing, Tancredo said, “You think to yourself, now if [the administration doesn’t] look at that and think, ‘Man, there’s got to be something out there, because, who in the heck is Tom Tancredo?'”
The White House apparently is aware of the opposition, Tancredo indicated, noting the president confined the issue to a 40-word paragraph in his State of the Union message and received a tepid response from his audience.
“I looked around and it was only the sergeant-at-arms and the Cabinet who applauded,” he said.
As WorldNetDaily has reported, a number of Americans say Bush’s plan is giving them physical symptoms of anxiety, and some are even contemplating leaving the U.S. out of a sense of betrayal.
A recent ABC News poll found 52 percent of the nation opposes an amnesty program for illegal immigrants from Mexico, while 57 percent oppose one for illegal immigrants from other countries. Both results are roughly the same as when the administration floated the idea two-and-a-half years ago.
When WND asked its readers what they thought about the president’s speech, the top response in the daily poll found over 31 percent of respondents saying “I agree with most everything except his plan to legalize illegal aliens.”
A group called Tennesseeans for Tancredo is calling for a Tancredo write-in candidacy on the Internet, declaring on its website Americans need to “make noise, collect signatures, build a grass-roots movement that attracts citizens from all walks of life and all political parties.”
But the Colorado lawmaker has dismissed any notions of a presidential run.
“A lot of people think my politics are crazy, but I’m not delusional. I don’t think I’m going to be president of the United States,” Tancredo told the Rocky Mountain News last week.
He said he supports the president on most issues besides immigration and believes he would have little effect on the president’s chances, the paper reported.
Last week, he launched “Team Tancredo,” a political action committee to raise money for candidates who oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants.
He told Farah’s audience yesterday: “We’re going to go after every Republican and Democrat incumbent. We’re going to run primaries against them. Help me fund it.”
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