Conservative Spotlight: Team America

“There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.” So said President Teddy Roosevelt, and so says Team America, a new political action committee (PAC) dedicated to doing something about illegal immigration. Founded by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.), Team America gives money only to congressional candidates who sign its pledge: “I ___________, a candidate for Congress of the United States of America, do hereby make all of the following pledges: 1. I will oppose any sort of amnesty; 2. I will support a ‘time out’ on immigration until serious reforms can be enacted; 3. I will support the use of American military forces on the border until the Border Patrol is at full strength; 4. I will join the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus.” “We model ourselves after the Club for Growth,” said Team America Chairman Bay Buchanan, sister of Pat Buchanan. She was referring to the successful group that supports free-market candidates. Team America has supported Republican primary challengers this year who have given open borders congressmen something of a scare: Matt Throckmorton against Rep. Chris Cannon (Utah), for example. Throckmorton got 42% of the vote despite having little money. Arizona Representatives Jeff Flake and Rep. Jim Kolbe also faced pro-immigration reform challengers. All three incumbents survived. Team America helped strong conservative Kris Kobach win the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Dennis Moore (D.-Kan.). “As counsel to Atty. Gen. [John] Ashcroft from September 2001 to July 2003, I was charged with finding ways to improve U.S. border security and reform the immigration system,” says Kobach on his website. “Insecure borders and poor enforcement of immigration laws during the 1990s had exposed America to terrorist infiltration. . . . Our borders are our most important line of defense in protecting the U.S. against another terrorist attack.” Tancredo, who is no longer formally involved with Team America, gave the group its motto: “The Defense of a Nation Begins at its Borders.” “Our mission is to identify, recruit and help elect to public office individual patriots who agree with our motto stated above,” says Team America’s website. “We will reach out to the millions of Americans who agree that our immigration policy is in dire need of emergency reform.” Team America gives money exclusively to Republicans. Buchanan said that by late August, Team America had raised $170,000. “We give money to candidates but we also make independent expenditures,” she said. “We write people and ask them to give to candidates. The American people want to decrease immigration.” Indeed, polls consistently show that a solid, often overwhelming majority of Americans–men, women, white, black, Hispanic, Republican, Democrat, Catholic, Protestant–want lower immigration levels and especially want an end to the illegal immigration that is taking over our country. But America’s elites, including the Bush Administration, think differently. Team America’s website includes links to recent news articles such as this one from The Hill on September 14: “Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.) considered calling for a top Bush Administration official to resign after reading his recent comments on enforcing immigration laws, according to sources. Upset with Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson’s remark that it would not be realistic to enforce current immigration laws, Tancredo, a staunch supporter of more stringent immigration laws, contemplated calling for the administration official’s resignation.” Team America makes an appeal to blue-collar workers: The group argues against socialistic methods of raising Americans’ pay such as hiking the minimum wage and instead advocates making natural use of the law of supply and demand. “There’s an old canard that says that illegals ‘take the jobs Americans don’t want.’ This is a fallacy! There’s no job an American can’t or won’t do for a living wage. It is a cruel joke on the American worker to allow illegals to depress wages for many jobs below poverty level, and then to mock Americans for being reluctant to participate in the poverty,” says the group. And, of course, the national security angle has become increasingly urgent. “Since the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, two things have become clear,” says Team America. “First, we have enemies, and they are vicious and without conscience. Second, our enemies obviously believe that an attack from within is more feasible than an attack from without.” Team America first got off the ground in April, but Buchanan hopes to have 10,000 names on its contributor list by the end of the year. “We’re just getting started,” she said.