At a pro-Arizona event in Loveland, Colorado, Saturday, anti-illegal immigration warrior and former Congressman Tom Tancredo rallied the crowd by talking about not just Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, but about that state’s suite of new immigration laws. One of those is a new e-verify law that seeks to guard against undocumented-worker hiring. Another, highly touted by Tancredo, outlaws multicultural school programs, a popular bugbear among right-wing cultural warriors, who have argued that in emphasizing the distinct ethnic cultures and histories of Americans, the programs divide the country and discourage assimilation into the mainstream.
In his comments Saturday, Tancredo suggested multicultural educational programs teach students allegiance to “something other” than the American flag and the United States. He said that, although SB 1070– the law in Arizona that gives local police authority to investigate citizenship status– has gained much media attention for fears it will promote racial profiling, the bill outlawing mutlicultural programs is really more significant for its likely long term effects.
Drawing on Pres. John Kennedy’s famous speech in Berlin during the cold war, in which he called himself a Berliner, Tancredo said millions of Americans are likewise Arizonans today because they support the values “under siege” in Arizona from illegal immigration and from the politics that oppose Arizona’s new controversial laws.
It’s not just 1070 they got accomplished. I mean This is incredible stuff guys, no one talks about this but it’s amazing. Not only did they pass 1070, they passed a mandated e-verify for every private employer in the state of Arizona… the response, they got so many people going back to Mexico that the president of Mexico complained and said… build a fence! — He didn’t say that [laughter].
But it’s amazing because that’s the response of just one thing… then of course 1070– but then after that they passed a law, no one seems to know about this but it’s almost as important in my point of view than 1070 because it says… in the state of Arizona it’s against the law to teach the overthrow of the United States of America and you can also not go out and create these mutli-cultural little hangouts essentially that are school buildings called school buildings that teach children to owe their allegiance to something else beside that flag or this country. You can’t do that anymore in Arizona. I mean this is great stuff guys, great stuff.
So if you can… say you support them down there… It matters. They do feel under siege. They think, you know, ‘My gosh the whole world is against them.’ No the whole world is for you really. Only people who support illegal activity. Ignore the fact tha we habve things called borders and they should mean something and something called citizenship and it should mean something only people who despise those ideas– like the guy who’s in the White House today– only people like that are opposed to it.[…]
You know, I keep thinking: Why doesn’t someone just put the damn bill on a teleprompter so Obama can read it. [laughter]
Multi-cultural education programs have been touted by education scholars for enriching instruction on the fabric of American life as a exceptional almost wholly immigrant society. The instruction also is celebrated for boosting the investment of minority students in their education.
The undocumented-worker monitoring system known as e-verify has been celebrated as a new way forward in bringing employers into the fight against illegal immigration but it has also been criticized as more flashy than effective. In test trials it has misidentified documented workers as undocumented and it has failed to identify undocumented workers angling to beat the system.