On election night, Tom Tancredo thought “it’s all over with.” The fight, that is, to rid America of millions of illegal immigrants.
The Colorado congressman who staked his career on getting tough with border crossers saw some of his staunchest GOP allies, including U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas, bounced at the polls. Tancredo won another term, but the Democrats took Congress, and he assumed “amnesty,” as hard-liners label it, was just around the bend for the undocumented.
Even President Bush spoke the next day of seeking “some common ground with Democrats” on at least one of his priorities — granting guest-worker status and a path to citizenship to immigrants now confined to the shadows.
But Tancredo had not read the Web site of Ryun’s Democratic rival, Nancy Boyda:
“Crack Down on Illegal Immigration — When American corporations knowingly or negligently hire illegal workers, they lure immigrants into America, weaken our borders, and create unfair wage competition for American workers. This is unacceptable.”
Last spring’s boiling debate is far, far from settled.
“On further reflection,” says Tancredo, “I’ve the distinct impression … there’s no enthusiasm at all for a guest-worker or amnesty plan.”