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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ANTI-IMMIGRANT TANCREDO KICKS OFF TEA PARTY CONVENTION

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There's a great op-ed in the Washington Post by Kevin Huffman that highlights some of the antics of the former Congressman:

In our moderate, land-locked state [Colorado], my Republican neighbors would
sometimes express puzzlement over Tancredo's obsession. He came to
sound more like a deranged border-patrolling Minuteman than a Colorado
congressman.



On Thursday, Tancredo delivered the opening remarks at the national
Tea Party convention, and, as I watched the clips, I was struck by two
things.



First, it was oddly gratifying to see Tancredo take the next step in a long personal journey toward Crazy Land.



***



Here is Tancredo's opening: First, we should have a "civics literacy test" before people are allowed to vote. Second, "People who could not even spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House whose name is Barack Hussein Obama." Convention organizer Judson Phillips helpfully explained that "Tancredo doesn't feel like a lot of people who supported Barack Obama understand the basics of this country."







A literacy test? Are you kidding me? I've said before that immigrants have become a substitute for blacks in the conversations of many on the right who find it no longer socially acceptable to spout racism in public. But when it comes to immigrants, their instinctive hatred is allowed to come out.

For those not familiar with 20th century American history, literacy tests were used to try and keep black people from exercising their right to vote and the outlawing of such tests was a major victory in the Civil Rights Movement. Of course, anyone literate in American civics should know that which makes me wonder whether Mr. Tancredo would pass his own test.

What this comment really tells me is that people like Tancredo and other antis know that that they have already lost the battle when it comes to the electorate. Ethnic voters already represent enough of the electorate to eventually force through immigration changes. Now it appears the antis are trying to promote ways to disenfranchise those voters to stop what is otherwise inevitable.

[Hat tip to reader LFWF for the link].

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    With all due respect to Greg, I can assure Tancredo, that most of the people who voted for Obama can speak, read and write English better than most white southerners who are in the tea-party movement..and I can also assure you that when it comes to reading or writing English or spelling bee, none of the kids of these non-English speaking white southern tea-partiers (believe me they really dont speak English)can compete with the children of some of the Obama supporters...

    http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/may/28/spelling-bee-indian-american-kids-shine.htm

    I dont even think that Tancredo can spell words in English better than these kids!
  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    It is no secret that those who vote democratic have higher education and income than those who vote republican.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2206512/

    Tancredo is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer if he thinks that a language/civics cut off is not going to keep his base of unwashed masses away from the booth.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    Tancredo-Grassley vision for America.....jobs moving abroad!

    http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/241751/ust-global-hiring-1000-it-workers-first-bpo-here

    The unemployment rate for next two months will determine how many foreigners and Americans left for foreign shores to work. Falling unemployment rate but sluggish job creation may precisely indicate this.
  4. Another Voice's Avatar
    These Tea Party people are a wild bunch..... they will do right b y the republicans confirming them as the anti-immigrant party!!!
  5. Dave Bennion's Avatar
    Tancredo was wrong, there is a literacy test for immigrants to vote, it's called the naturalization English language exam. Applicants have to demonstrate the ability to read and write in English to pass. To vote, permanent residents have to first pass this literacy test to become citizens. There are limited exceptions based on age and length of residence or disability.

    We've not come as far as all that when we still impose a de facto literacy test on potential voters. And this literacy test was imposed for the same reason as the others, except the targets then were Jews and Italians.

    But since immigration laws change (for the better) at a glacial rate, state and federal government could better fund ESL classes at places like my employer so we wouldn't have to charge students, screening out the neediest.
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