That provocative question was posed by Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo at a recent luncheon attended by Accuracy in Media. Tancredo believes that mass immigration, both legal and illegal, combined with multiculturalism represents the “greatest danger this country has ever faced.” He warned that the government and the media have failed to confront the national security, economic, and even health consequences of unrestricted immigration. He said that the government is ignoring the 70% of Americans that polling data show favor tightened U.S. borders.
He says that the concept of secure national borders is rapidly becoming an anachronism, especially in Washington. Many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill believe that market forces and globalization will erase national borders. They are supported by multinational corporations that view the “global village” as their marketplace and support tearing down national borders. But Tancredo says that corporations are simply seeking cheaper sources of production.
Immigration advocacy groups are pushing local and state governments to provide an education, driver’s license, social services and even the right to vote to anyone regardless of their immigration status. If they gain the right to vote nation-wide, Tancredo warned, borders would then truly become irrelevant. That is especially disturbing after nine-eleven. Tancredo said that drug smugglers have learned that people- smuggling is even more lucrative. The going price for smuggling Mexicans is $15,000, he said, but smuggling Middle Easterners will now bring $55,000 apiece.
Tancredo also said that the economic costs of immigration have become “enormous” and that the American taxpayer has long since stopped benefiting from it. Mass immigration has created health and safety problems along the nation’s borders. Tancredo said that last year 7,000 cases of leprosy were recorded and that disease has now become an “identifiable health problem” in the United States.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that an “Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride” is touring the country headed for the east coast. Modeled on the early 1960s freedom rides in the South, advocacy groups hope to use this to transform the issue of immigrants’ rights into a new civil rights movement, according to the Times. Riders plan to arrive in Washington in early October and then move on to New York for a major demonstration. The primary objective of the ride is to gain legal status for more than eight million illegal immigrants, say the ride’s organizers.
Another main objective of the ride is Congressional approval of an amnesty for illegal immigrants like one passed in 1986. Tancredo said that amnesty is also the objective of a number of bills currently pending in Congress. He hopes to stimulate a national debate on immigration and thinks it should be one of the central issues in next year’s presidential election campaign. Tancredo is routinely demonized by advocacy groups and the media, but he is now serving his third term as congressman.