Tancredo Furious With Hutchinson Comment On Immigration

The Hill.com, Sep. 14

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) considered calling for a top Bush administration official to resign after reading his recent comments on enforcing immigration laws, according to sources.

Upset with Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson’s remark that it would not be realistic to enforce current immigration laws, Tancredo, a staunch supporter of more stringent immigration laws, contemplated calling for the administration official’s resignation.

The two Republicans planned last night to discuss their differences, and it is not expected that Tancredo will ask for Hutchinson to step down.

Hutchinson last week told The Washington Times that it would be unrealistic to say that officials would be able to reduce the number of the millions of illegal immigrants in the country.

Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, is often at odds with the Bush administration over its immigration policies. Last month, he criticized the GOP’s platform on immigration, calling it “weak.”

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which will hold a press conference on immigration solutions to combat terrorism with Tancredo today, also strongly criticized Hutchinson’s comments.

FAIR called Hutchinson the “Bush administration’s point man to sell a massive illegal alien amnesty and guest worker program,” and the group’s Executive Director Dan Stein said: “The only thing ‘unrealistic’ are the choices the administration is presenting to the American public.”

A spokesperson for Tancredo said the lawmaker was “fairly angered” with Hutchinson’s comments. The staffer added that Tancredo and Hutchinson were scheduled to discuss the remarks last evening, with the expectation that the matter would be resolved and Tancredo would not call for Hutchinson’s resignation at today’s press conference.

A spokesperson for Hutchinson could not be reached for comment by press time. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Hutchinson served as a member of Congress from Arkansas from 1997 to 2001.

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