The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 10, 2007

Tancredo taking on immigration in Ottumwa stop

OTTUMWA — Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo said the fight over immigration amnesty is not over, and that he expects more attempts to grant illegal immigrants official status.

Tancredo, whose presidential campaign focuses largely on illegal immigration, said Congress stumbled on this summer’s immigration bill because people sent them an unequivocal message.

“It was an amnesty bill. They started pushing it as hard as they could. And we were worried, because there you had the President of the United States, the Congress,” he said during a visit to Ottumwa Thursday morning. “You stopped a lousy bill and one that was greased. It was coming down. It was like fish; it just kept getting smellier and smellier.”

Tancredo praised people who spoke against the bill, saying protests left Washington politicians without cover.

“It’s called making them see the light by feeling the heat,” he said. “The system still works.”

Tancredo sees immigration as a primary threat to American cohesion. Previous waves of immigration were offset by lulls, he said. Those lulls allowed time for immigrants to assimilate. But he said the past 40 years has not allowed a lull, meaning there is no pressure, and, in many cases, no need to assimilate.

The speech ridiculed rivals who say they’re against amnesty but say deportation is not an option. Tancredo said enforcement of the law solves the problem. Hammer businesses who hire illegal immigrants, and they quit doing it. That dries up the jobs. If jobs disappear, so do people.

The Republican congressman pointed to a Colorado law that cracked down on businesses. The result was a drop in the number of illegal immigrants coming to the state and the departure of many of those already present. He calls the approach “attrition by enforcement.”

He said a similar approach will work nationally and questioned why the country should bother with laws it will not enforce.

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