Posted: July 12, 2007 1:14 PM
By Staying on Message, Tancredo Shapes Immigration Plan
Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo is nothing if not focused.
Continuing his laser-like attention to our border, the Colorado congressman unveiled an immigration bill Wednesday dubbed OVERDUE — Optimizing Visa Entry Rules and Demanding Uniformed Enforcement. The bill would limit birthright citizenship to children who have at least one parent who is already a citizen or lawful permanent resident, among other enforcement measures.
Tancredo told the Online NewsHour on Tuesday that he wanted to draw attention to the immigration laws the Bush administration is not fully enforcing. While he has said the solution to the illegal immigration problem is simply a matter of enforcing existing laws, he acknowledged there are “structural problems” he wants to rectify.
Tancredo is set for another campaign blitz in Iowa next week with stops in Winterset, Odebolt, Panora, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Osage and Waterloo. With the straw poll one month away, the Tancredo campaign has been working to raise his profile in Iowa — even by sponsoring a children’s talent competition whose winner will perform in Ames on Aug. 11, the location and day of the straw poll.
Tancredo said in the interview that he would like to place in the top half of the Republican candidates participating in the straw poll — a list that does not include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., or former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Tancredo also discussed his post-Iowa and New Hampshire strategy, which relies on strong performances in those first two caucus and primary states to provide momentum for later primary states.
Meanwhile, social conservative Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has taken shots at Tancredo, issuing a press release that accused him of accepting donations from an abortion-rights advocate. Tancredo, who said the allegation “falls flat,” said he thinks it is good news for his campaign that Brownback considers him competition.
Echoing previous comments that his presence in the race has guided other Republicans toward tougher stances on immigration, Tancredo captured a headline in the Washington Post that links him to McCain’s downfall in the presidential race. This attention comes on the heels of a story in the Los Angeles Times that says Tancredo is gaining momentum in Iowa for his stance on immigration.
An extended version of the Tancredo interview will be posted on the Online NewsHour in coming days as will a more complete story about the Coloradoan’s run for the White House.