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Tancredo Criticizes McCain Amnesty Meeting

June 26, 2008
Sends open letter urging Senator to keep border security promise
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( WASHINGTON, D.C. ) – U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) today sent a letter to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) criticizing his recent meeting with Hispanic leaders where he reportedly pushed his amnesty agenda.

A copy of the letter is below:

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Dear Senator McCain:

Recently in Chicago, you had a closed door meeting with a group of Hispanic leaders. Strangely, the closed door meeting was not on your official events calendar, no press was invited and no press release appears to have been issued.  Yet, according to several news reports, you promised the group that you plan to pursue “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Senator, given your past sponsorship of amnesty legislation, such statements raise troubling questions.  Are you planning to break a promise you made in February to postpone all other immigration reform legislation until we have first secured our borders?

Senator, you are aware that past promises for secure borders have been broken. Such promises were used as carrots to gain votes for legislative packages that included amnesty, but after the amnesty was achieved, secure borders were forgotten. Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are resolved to never let that happen again.  Are you prepared to wage war on conservatives to secure another amnesty for illegal aliens?  I hope not.

On July 14 you are scheduled to address the national convention of the National Council of La Raza in San Diego , an advocacy organization dedicated to amnesty and a path to citizenship for all twenty million illegal aliens. I challenge you to deliver a message to that assembly which does not pander to their amnesty agenda. You should speak to the La Raza convention and to all Hispanic audiences about America's need for secure borders as a priority above all other immigration reforms. 

Moreover, I hope you take that opportunity to make it clear that it is in the long term interest of Mexico and other Latin American nations to halt the massive out-migration of their citizens. Mexico is in dire need of political and economic reforms to encourage foreign investment, entrepreneurship and job creation. Those reforms will never come as long as Mexico's politicians can export the country's poorest residents and youngest voters. Mexico may never have the courage to take those painful steps on its own, but secure borders will prevent that exodus and force the politicians to provide opportunities for their own people. 

Senator, you have said many times in recent months, “I got the message” on border security.  If you go to the La Raza convention in San Diego and deliver a message that surrenders to their amnesty agenda, tens of millions of Americans who heard your earlier message will feel betrayed-- and rightly so.
        
Nothing has changed since you publicly abandoned your support for “comprehensive amnesty” in favor of a “security first” position.  The facts have not changed, conservative principles have not changed, and our borders have not yet been secured. In fact, official estimates from the Border Patrol suggest that it will take at least four more years to achieve operational control of the southwest border even if all current plans are fully implemented.

Senator McCain, I ask you to reaffirm your commitment to secure our borders as a precondition for all other immigration reforms, and I hope your immigration rhetoric over the next several months will reflect that commitment – whether the audience be black or white, Asian or Hispanic. 

Giving Americans “Straight Talk” – telling them what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear – demonstrates leadership, and as you have correctly pointed out many times in the past, that is what America needs now more than ever.
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