Tancredo Rides Again

May 2005
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo has a featured op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times (free registration required) in which he supports the Minutemen project and accuses President Bush of pandering to the Government of Mexico:
Bush must have some other reason for continuing to push his ill-conceived proposal for amnesty for illegal aliens and for turning a blind eye to the dangers of open borders. He appears to be pandering not to Latino voters but to the government of Mexico. Is he so influenced by the corporate advocates for cheap labor that he cannot see the loss of millions of jobs by Latino and black Americans to the unfair competition of illegal labor?
Tancredo uses the remainder of his article to make some predictions: Tancredo predicts that the Real ID bill, restricting drivers' licenses and asylum opportunities, is going to approved by Congress as part of the military spending bill. The ACLU and Human Rights First consistently have opposed the bill for many reasons. But Tancredo probably is right that the Democrats will allow it to pass. Next, Tancredo predicts the Arizona Minutemen and its citizen militia who were out in force this month to police our borders is a "harbinger of things to come." Journalist Marc Cooper, also writing in today's L.A.Times, debunks that notion, calling the Minutemen a "15 second" phenomenon. But he agrees with Tancredo about one thing: the failure of the Government to take adequate action.
The situation along the U.S.-Mexican border continues to sink into chaos, and Congress and the White House do little more than aggravate things. In spite of billions of dollars spent to bolster the line, every year hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) of desperate migrants manage to evade the human, physical and environmental barriers and make the crossing to wind up as our maids, nannies and gardeners. More than 3,000 died trying to make the crossing in the last decade -- 10 times more than all those who perished trying to jump the Berlin Wall. It's a complex and vexing issue that is getting hotter by the day. Now more than ever the public needs news media that are serious, thoughtful and analytical, not compliant suckers for the wound-up partisans and pandering politicians who are increasingly likely to inflame or obfuscate the issue with goofball dog-and-pony shows.