In Tancredo's corner


The mainstream media routinely distort the position of those opposed to illegal immigration. For example, the Oct. 25, 2010, issue of High Country News called Tom Tancredo, who lost the Colorado Governor's race, "an anti-immigration rabble-rouser." Actually Tom Tancredo -- as well as the overwhelming majority of Americans -- is not "anti-immigration," but anti-illegal immigration. The late Sen. Patrick Daniel Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." In this era of hyper-partisanship, news organizations of all types are becoming little more than advocates for political ideologies.

John Rogers
Bozeman, Montana

HCN responds
In the immigration debate, language and logic tend to get mangled. I realize that Tom Tancredo and others refer to themselves as "anti-illegal immigration" as opposed to "anti-immigration." Neither term is perfect, but I believe the latter is more accurate.

As you note, most Americans oppose illegal immigration. Their differences lie in how they would fix the problem. The "open borders" lobby would legalize all immigration; moderates would make it easier to get into the country legally and to obtain citizenship; and others, like Tancredo, would deport all undocumented immigrants, and either hold steady or halt all legal immigration.

Imagine for a moment that all undocumented immigrants were given citizenship or visas, and that anyone coming here to work could do so legally. That would effectively eliminate illegal immigration. Then Tancredo, if he is, indeed, merely anti-illegal immigration, could find a new cause.

However, Tancredo wants to stop or slow all immigration to the U.S. from certain parts of the world, namely Latin America and Islamic countries, be it legal or illegal. He’s repeatedly said as much. Therefore, "anti-immigration" describes him best.

Jonathan Thompson,
freelance journalist (and former HCN editor in chief)
Berlin, Germany

Tom Tancredo
Dennis P Lima
Dennis P Lima
Dec 07, 2010 01:09 PM
What a ridiculous response! So when I'm robbed at gunpoint, let's just call it a "loan to a person in greater need", therefore eliminating the problem of armed robbery? God help us if the liberals ever truely run this country.
There is a right way and a wrong way to enter this country, plain and simple.
And I'd be interested in hearing some actual quotes from Tom stating that he wants to stop legal immigration.
Illegals, Mexico, and Those in Need
Joel Dyar
Joel Dyar
Dec 07, 2010 08:43 PM
Theres a point which is not often made in this whole discussion, and I'd present it as follows:

When the U.S. decided to enter into NAFTA, we committed ourselves to owning what became of Mexico. Illegal immigration soared as a result of the liberalization of the Mexican economy, and the resultant dismissal of vast numbers of workers from its labor-intensive agricultural industries. U.S. and other international corporations profited by entry into the Mexican market, replacing smaller farms with large scale, mechanized and labor-light production. But the anticipated creation of manufacturing jobs in that country did not materialize on a massive scale (thanks in part to China's industrial rise in the same timeframe), and as a result, millions of Mexicans found themselves without a means to make ends meet. Where were they to go to find work? Guatemala, Honduras? Hence the momentum for illegal immigration, and the reason it cannot realistically be decreased until Mexico returns to a more stable state capable of offering employment to its poor. Lastly, the desperation of the poor there sucks young people into the drug trade and illicit economy, and provides a huge recruitment pool for well-organized and even better-armed gangs, creating further instability and providing incentives for decent folks to flee. Part of our efforts in addressing this challenge need to be focused there.

Patrick Germain
Patrick Germain
Jun 02, 2011 02:55 PM
I am undocumented, though I entered the country legally I now have to suffer through the boundries due to the efforts of my parents to bring me here at the age of 10 for a better life. I understand most people's hatred towards us for taking their jobs, but I will not stand here and take insults. There are many people in my school and around my age group who skip class to go consume drugs. I don't do drugs and nor I am ungrateful of the decent education provided to me. I am trilangual, I am fluent in spanish and english (english better than any of my American born friends who don't read or write, and constantly ask me for spelling as I have written my own stories and books) and I speak german. I don't desire to desist any person from recieving a good life as Im not of a selfish nature, I believe we're all human beings and God gave us this earth to life together not to fight against each other. I wish to go to college and be an engineer as I was in a gifted and talented program at my school to which I set a english and math record for. Yet even through all this I would not be able to get a job as an engineer and/or achieve my dream. I fear to return to Mexico as my native city (Monterrey) is one of the most violent areas right now.