Tancredo: Abolish Race-Based Caucuses

Laurie Kellman, AP, Jan. 25, 2007

White House hopeful Tom Tancredo said Thursday the existence of the Congressional Black Caucus and other race-based groups of lawmakers amount to segregation and should be abolished.

“It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race,” said the Colorado Republican, who is most widely known as a vocal critic of illegal immigration.

“If we are serious about achieving the goal of a colorblind society, Congress should lead by example and end these divisive, race-based caucuses,” said Tancredo, who is scheduled to pitch his long-shot presidential bid this weekend in New Hampshire.

Tancredo’s request, relayed in a letter to Administration Committee Chairwoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., revived his effort to change House rules to abolish the groups. Besides the Congressional Black Caucus, Democrats also have a Hispanic caucus with 21 members, and Republicans have a comparable Hispanic conference with five full members and 11 “associate” members who are not Hispanic.

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Tancredo is chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, which seeks to toughen border security to stem illegal immigration. He also opposes guest worker programs and immigration proposals by President Bush.

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