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Earlier this month, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), along with a large and prominent group of pro-immigration reform leaders in Colorado, launched the Colorado Compact, a bipartisan set of principles to guide a conversation on immigration reform going forward. The Compact boasts some of the broadest possible support from across the political spectrum, and has been signed by high-profile Republicans such as former Sen. Hank Brown; Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who was an unsuccessful Senate challenger to Bennet; and University of Colorado President Bruce Benson, who was a former Colorado gubernatorial candidate and Republican Party chairman.
But now, anti-immigrant hardliner has-been Tom Tancredo is stepping out to pooh-pooh the Compact, mocking it by releasing a version of his own. From the Denver Post today:
Tancredo’s document, which he calls a parody of Bennet’s, is sprinkled with all-capital-letter declarations. It is in line with what he has long preached — no amnesty for any illegal immigrants, coupled with crackdowns on those in the country illegally and increased border security.
Here are a couple excerpts (you can read a copy of the whole thing here):
THE COLORADO COMPACT FOR IMMIGRATION FAIRNESS IS AN ATTEMPT TO OUTLINE A PATH FORWARD ON IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT RESPECTS BOTH THE RULE OF LAW AND ELEMENTARY FAIRNESS OF ALL COLORADANS…
ABOVE ALL, our immigration system must insure the protection of our communities and national borders, A PRIORITY THAT CAN ONLY BE MADE CREDIBLE TY DEMONSTRATED BORDER SECURITY IN ADVANCE OF ANY GRANT OF LEGAL STATUS TO UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS ALREADY RESIDENT IN OUR COUNTRY.
Wow. As anyone who has ever interacted with unhinged people on the internet will know, Tancredo’s “compact” awfully resembles the rantings of fringe extremists who believe the end of the world is coming. There are CAPS, and typos, and a single-minded insistence that only the author is right, and not anybody else.
Tancredo seems to be overestimating his influence in a Republican Party where everyone from John Boehner to Sean Hannity are acknowledging the need for practical immigration reform that compassionately addresses the 11 million aspiring Americans already here. He seems to be forgetting that President Obama won his state by 5.4 percentage points in last month’s election, thanks in part to his support from 88% of Colorado’s Latino voters. Latino voters are now 13% of Colorado’s electorate, and eligible Latino voters in Colorado grew 30% between 2000 and 2010. We’re guessing the Republicans in Tancredo’s state are going to be a lot more interested in listening to these voters than to an angry die-hard like him.