Tom Tancredo, a lifelong conservative, has emerged as a leader in the national struggle for true immigration reform stating that he is 100% opposed to amnesty. He has further pledged that as President, he will secure our borders while eliminating benefits and job prospects for those illegal visitors who are here.

Tancredo’s strong opinions on this subject are further clarified by his statement that “illegal aliens threaten our economy and undermine our culture and while our brave soldiers are called upon to risk their lives to protect us overseas, our political elites lack the courage to defend us at home.” He believes that Homeland Security’s plans, which do not include enforcing our immigration laws and securing our borders, are entirely inadequate since it is difficult to justify the expense and inconvenience of the rigorous security checks at our airports and harbors if we continue to leave the door open for terrorists to slip across our southern border undetected. Tancredo further states that “We know there are people in this country who have come here for the purposes of doing something bad to us and we know that they came across our borders often to find “sanctuary cities” where elected leaders refuse permission for their police officers to work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.”

Another serious problem with illegal immigration, according to Tancredo, revolves around the high cost of healthcare where in California alone, uninsured illegal immigrants have cost the system $800 million dollars annually forcing the closing of some 84 hospitals. He is convinced that deporting illegal immigrants could significantly reduce the cost of health care. Then, in addition, one must consider illegal immigration’s impact on national security with the many vaccine-resistant diseases that are being introduced into the United States from other countries, some of which are directly linked to illegal immigrants.

Backing him on his stand, The Washington Post calls him a “firebrand” on illegal immigration and U.S. News reports that he “has won a national profile” with his tough immigration stance. However, it doesn’t stop there as is seen by a statement made by David Yepsen, Dean of Iowa’s political correspondents, was reported by Jolene Stevens of the Daily Register, to have stated that Tancredo is “onto something… and that the problems surrounding illegal immigration are getting worse with more and more voters becoming upset about it all.”

If the cost of health care is not enough, Tancredo reminds us that “Every single area of concern that presidential candidates discuss relates to the immigration issue, including education.” According to Tancredo, “we’re spending more and more money on education and getting less out of it much of which could be corrected if we could reduce the number of illegal immigrants in this country who demand state subsidized education despite the fact that they are here illegally.”

Perhaps it is his foresightedness or perhaps it is fear that causes him to see additional danger to the environment from the ever-increasing influx of new immigrants that could reach a billion people by the end of the century. He believes that this danger will be directly linked to the American lifestyle that allows its citizens to consume more and produce more waste than any other country.This reviewer, is opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants, as it is currently a crime and should be treated as any other crime, and also because I feel a need to protect our borders from those who would enter to bring us harm. However, a poll by CQ showed a majority of respondents believe illegal immigrants should have a means of gaining legal citizenship under certain conditions and sixty-three percent of respondents said they supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as long as they pass background checks, pay fines and have jobs.

Tancredo, on the other hand, stated during the Republican debate that he would call not only for closed-door policies on illegal immigration, but also for a “timeout” on all immigration. I believe that this stance will make him either a viable candidate for the Republican ticket or make him a piranha that people shy away from.

[tags]Tom Tancredo, Republican candidate, 2008 GOP Primary race, Illegal Immigration, Amnesty, Healthcare, education, environment, vaccine resistance illness, Immigration, CQ poll[/tags]