The Letter to Bush and Hastert Warning about the President's Immigration Plan

Conservative Congressman Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.) recently joined 22 fellow GOP Congressmen in a letter to the President and House Speakder Dennis Hastert detailing the public’s negative reaction to the White House’s immigration proposal. Congressman Tancredo said, “The President is looking to trade out his law abiding constituents for people that have blatantly disregarded those same laws to further their and their homelands agenda,” according to his office. Tancredo’s office is also stating that “offices have already received several three inch binders full of emails from constituents saying they will not vote for the president if this legislation sees the light of day, and the emails continue to grow on a daily basis.” Below is a copy of the original letter as sent by Rep. Tancredo’s office: ————— Dear Mr. Speaker: We have serious concerns regarding the immigration policy President Bush announced earlier this month. We collectively agree that the United States has a severe and undeniable immigration problem; however, the proposal articulated by the Administration does not address the problem appropriately. In fact, in our view, it will further exacerbate the problem and create discontent amongst the Republican Party. Since the President’s speech, our offices have been inundated with calls from dismayed constituents expressing vehement opposition to the Administration’s proposal. It is a matter of great concern to us that these constituents – politically active American citizens – are so disillusioned by the proposal that many of them will become disenchanted with not only the Administration, but with Congress as well. If we do not listen to our constituents on this matter, our influence and effectiveness in Congress could be jeopardized. Simply put, we cannot continue to allow our immigration laws to be violated and ignored – and illegal aliens are by definition criminals. We agree with the President’s sentiment that it is unfair to reward illegal immigrants. Although the President has argued that his proposal is not an amnesty, a careful reading of his proposal indicates otherwise. Amnesty pardons those who have broken a law. Ignoring the fact that illegal aliens are working in the United States illegally, and making them eligible for legal status and citizenship is de facto amnesty. And if past is prologue, it is clear that this amnesty proposal will encourage even greater numbers of aliens to enter our country illegally. The contradictions within the Administration’s proposal, and what amounts to an offer of amnesty to law violators, have left many of our core supporters dismayed, angry, and confused. As patriotic Americans, our conservative base wants to see the laws of our nation upheld. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Respect for the rule of law is a core conservative value. Mr. Speaker, it is our hope that you will recognize the problems the Administration’s proposal has created for our constituents. We would be more than willing to work with you to craft a solution to America’s immigration crisis that is more in line with the principles of our Party and our national traditions. Thank you for your continued leadership and sensitivity to the concerns of all Members of the Conference. Sincerely, C.L. “Butch” Otter, M.C. Virginia Brown-Waite, M.C. Virgil H. Goode, Jr., M.C. Michael Simpson, M.C. Jeff Miller, M.C. Zach Wamp, M.C. Todd Akin, M.C. Lamar Smith, M.C. Walter Jones, M.C. Philip Crane, M.C. Scott Garrett, M.C. John J. Duncan, Jr., M.C. Jim Ryun, M.C. Ernest J. Istook, Jr., M.C. Nathan Deal, M.C. Steve King, M.C. Thomas Tancredo, M.C. Donald Manzullo, M.C. Cliff Stearns, M.C. Dana Rohrabacher, M.C. Steven LaTourette, M.C. Elton Gallegly, M.C. Roscoe Bartlett, M.C.