Tancredo Pens Letter to Presidential Debate Moderators

Office of Congressman Tom Tancredo, Oct. 6

“Let’s have a serious discussion on our nation’s safety. Discuss border security”—Rep. Tancredo

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Tom Tancredo (CO-06) today sent letters to the final two Presidential debate moderators, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and ABC’s Charles Gibson, asking them to prevent further ducking by the contenders and to press them for answers on how they can continue talk of a secure America, increasing wages, and providing better healthcare, all while ignoring illegal immigration and our open borders problem.

Excerpts from the letter:

“Despite the overwhelming public consensus to swiftly provide meaningful enforcement of our existing immigration laws and implement 9/11 Commission recommendations, bureaucratic inertia and political intransigence continue to stand in the way . . . everyone in America knows that their government is not doing everything possible right now to secure America. The public deserves to know which candidate, if any, will commit to doing everything in their power to secure our first line of defense—our borders—and to prevent future terrorist attacks. The American people are counting on you, as moderator, to ensure that both Mr. Kerry and President Bush make their position on this fundamental issue clear.”

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Letter Sent to ABC’s Charles Gibson

Mr. Charlie GibsonABC News147 Columbus AvenueNew York, NY 10023

Dear Mr. Gibson,

As moderator for the upcoming Presidential debate, you have an unprecedented opportunity—and an obligation—to press the candidates to address important issues, even those issues that they would rather not discuss.

Homeland security and the War on Terror have dominated the campaign season so far. Yet despite this focus, the critical issues of immigration policy and border security have been given short shrift by both the candidates and until very recently, the national media. I hope that you will act to pin both candidates down on this issue, and make them clearly explain to the electorate how they plan to fix our badly broken borders and where they stand on the question of granting amnesty and legal status to the more than ten million illegal aliens currently roaming free in the United States.

Two weeks ago, TIME magazine’s cover story was an in-depth investigation into the disastrous truth about our porous and neglected southern border in a 15-page exposé. In addition to highlighting the threat to national security that is posed by the massive flow of illegal entries, the article also illustrates the effect of uncontrolled illegal immigration on the once-pristine environment; the growing trail of victims left behind by criminal aliens who repeatedly evade justice; the detrimental effects on local government services, health care costs, and personal property; and stifling pressure brought upon wages. Indeed, in addition to the homeland security threats posed by loose border security, there are few domestic issues that are not directly affected by this problem.

The TIME piece touches on why, perhaps more than ever, this issue is important to America. The profile of immigration reform is rising—appropriately, as the stakes are being raised by the day. An astounding disconnect exists between the wishes of the American people and the actions—or more appropriately inaction—of their government.

Despite the overwhelming public consensus to swiftly provide meaningful enforcement of our existing immigration laws and implement 9/11 Commission recommendations, bureaucratic inertia and political intransigence continue to stand in the way. In the meantime, the flow of illegal aliens—and the potential terrorists among them—continues largely unabated into the United States. Ignoring this issue will not make it disappear. To the contrary, continued neglect will only amplify the problems, and make solutions more difficult.

This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Intelligence Reorganization bill, the legislation which will serve as the vehicle for implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations. The House version of the bill contains far and away the most substantive reforms of immigration and border security since 1996, all recommended by the 9/11 Commission’s report. The Senate bill, by comparison, contains no border security provisions whatsoever. Given President Bush’s ability to use the bully pulpit to insist on the House reforms, and Mr. Kerry’s ability as a U.S. Senator to add the House provisions to the Senate bill, you should press both candidates on where they stand on fully implementing these important Commission recommendations.

Unfortunately, real reform in the area of border security has been stymied by the power of two primary special interest groups: corporate interests who want a ready supply of cheap illegal labor and liberal groups who view the stream of illegal aliens as a source of potential.political clout. They are motivated by their own interests, but the President of the United States must be primarily motivated by only one: defending our nation.

Charlie, everyone in America knows that their government is not doing everything possible right now to secure America. The public deserves to know which candidate, if any, will commit to doing everything in their power to secure our first line of defense—our borders—and to prevent future terrorist attacks. The American people are counting on you, as moderator, to ensure that both Mr. Kerry and President Bush make their position on this fundamental issue clear.

Thank you in advance; and I look forward to watching the debate.

Sincerely,

Tom Tancredo, M.C.

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