On Establishment Republicans` Amazing Immigration Flip Flops
dropped out of the running for the GOP presidential
nomination, I felt like I could take credit for making
the more telegenic candidates at least give immigration
enforcement some lip service. It became conventional
wisdom that I forced the immigration issue into the
primaries. The New
"The emergence of Tancredoism as an ideological touchstone for two
Republican front-runners is a stunning development,
another indication of the Party`s rejection of nearly
everything associated with the approach taken by George
of the Nativist,
By Ryan Lizza, December 17, 2007]
John McCain, the same man who
had introduced an amnesty earlier that year,
changing his slogan to
Border First" by the end of the year. He even
stopped using euphemisms like
"comprehensive immigration reform."
However, as soon as he got the
nomination he started running Spanish language ads
blaming the Democrats for not passing amnesty!
McCain is currently facing a
primary challenge from former congressman
J.D. Hayworth, a solid conservative who led the
fight against amnesty in Congress. Once again, McCain is
beginning to sound a lot like me.
vocally supporting Arizona`s tough new law—even
though he had opposed much more moderate measures in the
state such as their
Proposition 200. He has
an ad where he walks by the border and demands
"Complete the danged fence."
Just a few years ago he had the
opposite message, but with similar—if slightly more
In 2007 he told a group of business
leaders that he thought,
"the fence is
least effective", but if that`s what was needed to
pass an amnesty,
"I`ll build the goddamned fence if they want it."
Republicans have already been
fooled in 2010. In California, liberal Republican Meg
Whitman ran off against conservative
Steve Poizner, who took a strong stand against
During the primary, Whitman
ran ads saying she is
"tough as nails
on illegal immigration" and is
"100% against amnesty." She continues,
"As governor, I will crack down on so-called sanctuary cities like San
Francisco who thumb their nose at our laws. Illegal
immigrants should not expect benefits from the State of
California. No driver`s license and no admission to
state-funded institutions of higher education. "
Republican voters took the bait and
gave her the nomination.
She immediately turned her back on
started running ads in Spanish stating
"se opone a
ley de Arizona y
opposed Arizona`s law and proposition 187."
Proposition 187 was a ballot initiative that banned the
state benefits for illegal aliens that she told
Republican voters she opposed.
There are many other races where we
face the same problems.
In Florida`s 24th
Congressional District, I endorsed Karen Diebel—a solid
conservative who supported border security and opposed
After I made the endorsement, her
opponent Craig Miller`s campaign called me a
"bigot" and a
"hatemonger" for my stance against massive
Now that Arizona`s stand against
illegal immigration is bringing the issue back into the
focus of voters, Miller is beginning to sound like me.
platform states America is
"a nation that
believes strongly in the rule of law and we must enforce
"In the case of illegal immigration our worry is not that the Federal
Government is overreaching, but rather that it has
completely neglected its responsibility…In addition to
making sure that the Federal Government finishes
building the wall on our southern border, we need
National Guard and other assistance sent to the Border
States to stop the flow of illegal immigrants right
Yet Miller`s record is just the
opposite. In 2006, he wrote an
op-ed for the Fort Worth
Star-Tribune stating that our
immigration policies are impossible to enforce" and
that "clearly we
can`t fix our broken immigration laws simply by
enforcing them more stringently." As an alternative,
he suggested amnesty and increases in legal immigration.
Miller put his money where his
mouth is. The National Restaurant Association spent
millions of dollars lobbying for amnesty and against
enforcement under his watch.
Make no mistake; men like John
McCain and Craig Miller will go right back to supporting
amnesty if they are elected.
Tom Tancredo (email
him) represented Colorado`s 6th Congressional
District from 1999 until 2009 and chaired the 100+
member bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus. He
currently serves as co-chairman of
PAC and president of the
Rocky Mountain Foundation.