The new hero of Americans who would like to control their borders and the numberless hordes coming across it is Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who has emerged in the last couple of years as by far the most knowledgeable, the most articulate and the most courageous congressional advocate for restricting immigration.
Not surprisingly, then, the friends of Open Borders have placed him in their crosshairs. So far Mr. Tancredo has eluded their inept potshots, but the efforts to bring him down, so far from harming him politically, may actually have helped clear his road to higher office.
The government of Mexico would like American taxpayers to pay for the education of illegal aliens in this country. So the Mexican consulate in Denver slipped a story to the left-wing Denver Post about a local Mexican illegal alien named Jesus Apodaca, an 18-year-old honor student. The point was to pressure the state into granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens - a privilege not available to native-born Americans who come from other states.
The Denver Post, eager to oblige any further effort to gouge the taxpayer for the benefit of illegal aliens, ran a tear-jerking story about bright young Jesus on its front page. ["Immigrants Shut Out of Colleges" Denver Post, August 11, 2002]
Mr. Tancredo, however, had a reaction rather different from the one the Post was trying to manipulate. He called the Immigration and Naturalization Service and demanded to know why, if the newspapers were publishing the names of known illegal aliens on their front pages, the INS didn't round them up and deport them. A sound question, which munchkins at the INS soon leaked to the Denver Post.
That, you see, is the real scandal.
How heartless of Mr. Tancredo to wonder why illegal aliens aren't being deported! How insensitive of Mr. Tancredo for not demanding special, extra-legal privileges for an illegal alien and his family that even native-born Americans don't have!
Soon the Tancredo scandal was making news all over the nation.
Colorado's Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an American Indian who loves to whack white Republicans over the head with his racial identity, has proposed a special act of Congress that would grant legal residency to young Jesus and his family. Last week, the governor of Colorado, Republican Bill Owens, endorsed the bill and brought the subject up to President Bush, who was in Denver.
"The president is very sympathetic to the issue,"
the governor told the press. He recognizes
"that it is not fair to single out one person in a debate that really encompasses hundreds of thousands of people."
But it was the Denver Post and the Mexican consulate that "singled out" the Apodaca family, and why isn't it fair to enforce the law against known illegals and why isn't the governor (and the senator and the president) demanding they be enforced?
If the Post had published the names of bank robbers and murderers, would it be "fair" to arrest them?
"People on both sides of the large and complex issue of immigration reform sought to use this good and decent family as examples to make their political points,"
the governor whined.
Well, not exactly. People on one side of the immigration issue did that, namely those who wanted an illegal alien granted special privileges. Mr. Tancredo didn't do that. He simply wanted to know why long-standing laws aren't being enforced.
Whenever politicians start whimpering about how "large and complex" an issue is, you should know they're trying to avoid a clear position on it.
So far, no one knows who will win in the "scandal" about Jesus Apodaca, but my money's on Mr. Tancredo, whose position on the "large and complex" issue of aliens who violate our laws is quite clear.
The counterattack on the congressman was aimed at his hiring a local construction company to do some work on his house. The company may (or may not) have hired some illegal aliens to do some of the work, and therefore, Mr. Tancredo's enemies began yelping, the congressman himself is a hypocrite for hiring illegals when he demands that laws against doing so be enforced.
Mr. Tancredo responded entirely sensibly that he has no idea who the company with which he made the contract hires and no reasonable way of finding out whether its workers were legal or not.
He's obviously correct, and it's hardly his responsibility to enforce laws the government won't or can't.
The trumped-up "scandal" Mr. Tancredo's enemies were sniggering about uncovering expired without a whimper.
If all of this accomplishes nothing else, it ought to boost Tom Tancredo's qualifications for holding somewhat higher office than that of congressman.
I can think of a governor, a senator and maybe even a president who need to start thinking about that.
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
October 07, 2002