Tancredo supports new Ariz. immigration law but mostly as a lever

Coloradans and national politics watchers generally will not be surprised that former Colorado Congressman and anti-illegal immigration champion Tom Tancredo celebrated the new broad and controversial powers Arizona has adopted to root out illegal aliens. Tancredo told Fox News over the weekend that he’d like to see lawmakers in Colorado pass similar laws.

Surprising, though, is the perhaps measured way Tancredo comes off in discussing the racial profiling abuses destined to spin out of the new law. Tancredo feels Arizona was backed into this kind of drastic step by federal inaction. He also takes aim again at any federal immigration reform legislation that would include “amnesty” for people already living and working in the U.S.

Colorado KDVR:

“If I had anything to say about it, we’d be doing it in Colorado,” smiles former Republican Colorado Congressman Tim [sic] Tancredo.

Tancredo applauds the law in that Arizona took control of enforcing laws the federal government hasn’t enforced.

But he questions how police can stop people for any reason. “I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like [you] should be pulled over,” says Tancredo.


“The Arizona law has only raised the level of urgency for federal reform,” says Julien Ross, Executive Director of Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition.

“The scary part of it is President Obama’s solution is worse than the problem–amnesty,” says Tancredo.

Amnesty would allow the 13-million undocumented immigrants in the country a pathway to legalization.

The new [Arizona] law would also allow individuals to sue local law enforcement if they’re not enforcing the law.

KDVR reported that immigration activists from Colorado traveled to Arizona this weekend to join in protests against the new law.

Also over the weekend Last Wednesday, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Arizona seemed to respond to the coming new law by taking at least one man into custody and holding him until his wife delivered a birth certificate as evidence of his citizenship. The man, known for now only as Abdon, is a Latino native-born American truck driver. He was handcuffed and taken into custody at a weigh station after producing his commercial drivers license and telling the agents his social security number.

“It’s not fair. Now I have to bring my birth certificate wherever I go?” he said.

Edit note: Thanks to commenter irabbit, who points out the incident in Ariz happened Wednesday, not over the weekend. It clearly wasn’t a response to the new law but perhaps a response to the perceived fed failures that were such a prominent feature in debate over the law and its eventual signing. It still may be seen as harbinger of things to come.

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