Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tancredo Debate

UFIRE Sponsors Tancredo - Cannon Debate

UFIRE (Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement) will be sponsoring a debate between Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and Utah's Congressman Chris Cannon. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 24th at the Lakeridge Junior High, 951 S 400 W in Orem. Mr. Cannon is well know for his AgJobs bill which "would reform the current agricultural guestworker program to allow agricultural employers unable to find American workers to hire immigrant farmworkers." Mr. Tancredo is in the forefront of the national movement to control illegal immigration and is the Founder of Team America, whose "mission is to identify, recruit and help elect to public office individual Patriots who agree with the principle of defending our borders and protecting America's jobs."

Both Congressmen were invited last week to allow their offices to participate in setting the format for the debate. While Mr. Cannon has not responded to UFIRE's invitation to participate, Mr. Tancredo has accepted the challenge as a part of his visit to Utah for public meetings to discuss the illegal immigration issue. He will be speaking in St. George at noon on Thursday, August 25th at the Holiday Inn and in the evening in Salt Lake City at Salt Lake Community College. Congressman Tancredo is being considered as a Republican Presidential candidate in 2008. As Congress is now in its summer recess, hopefully Mr. Cannon can arrange his schedule to attend.

Cannon and Tancredo have debated immigration many times, including an appearance on the O'Reilly Factor and on PBS' Jim Lehrer News Hour. On the Lehrer show Tancredo asked: "I'd love anybody to explain to me how they think amnesty helps solve the problem of illegal immigration; it certainly doesn't. We tried it in 1986. What happened, of course, is immigration -- illegal immigration exploded because we sent the wrong message; that is, get here avoid detection, stay long enough and we'll give you legalized status. It's a bad, bad thing for a government to do." Cannon's response was: "I think the problem here is that when you talk about amnesty, you're dealing with a very divisive concept. And the reason we don't talk about amnesty anymore is because actually we are talking about a very different concept. And frankly we're talking in an environment where the concepts are changing pretty radically. I mean the idea that you would deal with immigration issues in the context of bilateral discussions with a friendly nation is something we haven't done before."

During a forum in Washington, sponsored by the Latino Coalition, a Hispanic business group, Rep. Cannon opined that ""I think he ought to consider his views and decide whether they're consistent with the Republican Party," Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, said of the Colorado congressman" (Tancredo). Tancredo's response was: "Of the two of us, Mr. Cannon is the only one who has had a primary (challenge since taking office)," Tancredo said. "Evidently, there are a lot of people in his district who believe he is not Republican enough.",1299,DRMN_21_3753626,00.html

The immigration issue is ripe for debate and UFIRE members hope that people will join in becoming more informed on both sides so that informed discussion and decisions can be made.

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