The Des Moines Register reports on Congressman Tom Tancredo's foray into Iowa as he moves forward in his Presidential bid. Tancredo isn't toning down his immigration message, which he delivered to the Christian Coalition in Iowa (hat tip to Coyote Gulch for the link).
Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo said in Iowa this week that he will run for president in 2008 if no top-tier Republicans pick up his call for stricter immigration law enforcement.
Tancredo, a congressman from suburban Denver, is calling for border control by the U.S. military. He also supports sending all undocumented immigrants back to their homelands, a measure intended to reserve jobs for those in the country legally.
Tancredo definitely doesn't seem interested in acting like an actual candidate for President, and he's said before that he doesn't think he could really be the Republican nominee. But if he expects to influence the debate on immigration among Presidential candidates, his ultra-hard-line, 'kick 'em all out,' stance might not be the way to do it. You may agree with Tancredo that the U.S. should remove all illegal immigrants, but as a policy it is so completely impractical that it's not even worth discussing. But even Tancredo's attempts at actual legislation are too impractical to consider:
Tancredo, a close ally of Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, has proposed legislation that would put troops on the U.S.-Mexican border to halt illegal immigration. The proposal also would dramatically increase the number of border guards, who would eventually take the military's place in filling gaps along the border.
The legislation, which has failed in the House both times Tancredo introduced it, would require employers to verify the validity of immigrants' Social Security numbers, now an option for businesses, and forbid amnesty for immigrants in the country illegally.
Adding border guards will cost money, Tancredo said, but he added: "What is our priority, to secure the nation or fund the National Endowment for the Arts?"
Tancredo has pushed his anti-immigration message for years without anyone really taking a closer look, but why is he trying to force other Presidential candidates to discuss the issue when he can't come up with practical solutions of his own?
"I demand that we find a solution to the illegal immigration problem in this country!"
Okay, Tom, what do you propose we do about it?
"I don't know. But I demand that you figure it out!"
If you're trying to influence the debate on the Presidential level, that's probably not going to work.