Tancredo urges reduction in legal immigration to U.S.
By MAGGIE O'BRIEN
The Des Moines Register
July 13, 2007
Missouri Valley, Ia. – Candidate for the Republican nomination for president and outspoken immigration reform advocate Tom Tancredo told Harrison County residents Thursday night that the United States should reduce the number of legal immigrants entering the country and better assimilate those already living here.
Tancredo's remarks at the Harrison Country Republicans' women's dinner and meeting came a day after Tancredo, a five-term congressman from Colorado, announced plans to introduce legislation that would overhaul the country's immigration system by pressuring illegal immigrants to leave and tightening restrictions on legal immigrants.
“It's a factor of numbers,” Tancredo said. “We need a time out on immigration.”
Tancredo, who has garnered 1 percent to 2 percent of likely Republican voters in several national political polls, is widely recognized for his tough stance on immigration and has largely based his platform on the issue. He denied allegations that he is a single-issue candidate, and said immigration issues create broader problems in schools, health care, the environment and national security.
“How can you consider that having porous borders is not a threat to our national security?” he asked.
Tancredo's plan places tighter restrictions to employment-based green card status. It also would put restrictions on automatic birthright citizenship if one parent is an illegal resident.
Last month, the U.S. Senate voted down a controversial immigration reform bill that would have granted amnesty to some 12 million people who are in the country illegally.
“Amnesty is the worst public policy we can adopt,” Tancredo told the group of prospective voters. “It's a slap in the face to people here who have done it right.”
About 60 people attended the event – about a half-dozen wore T-shirts supporting Tancredo's campaign.
Dunlap resident Ruth Heller – an 89-year-old lifelong Republican whose first trip to the ballot box was in 1940 when she voted for Wendell Willkie – said she became more interested in Tancredo after following his campaign's float in last weekend's annual Woodbine Championship Rodeo parade.
“That was the first I had heard of him,” said Heller.