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Tancredo’s Remarks Cross the “Line” in Insulting Texas Rio Grande Valley Residents

LatinaLista — There’s something inherently wrong when an elected government official insults fellow citizens, regardless of his stand on any issue.
By virtue of his political office and power, an elected official should exercise diplomacy when speaking in public.
Yet, time and time again, we’ve seen politicians in states like Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado clearly illustrate their disdain for people who disagree with them over the illegal immigration issue.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo listens to his fellow Congressional peers during a hearing on the construction of the border fence along the Texas-Mexico border.
(Source: The Brownsville Herald)

The latest Congressman, who actually has a history of being offensive, is Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo.
Today, Tancredo accepted an invitation to serve on a congressional panel hearing that was held at the University of Texas at Brownsville regarding the construction of a border fence along the Texas-Mexico border.
His response to some of the residents’ concerns underscore the lack of compassionate compromise and understanding of life along the border that exists in Washington, or at least among a group of elected officials who have declared the people south of the border to be enemies of the state.

If Tancredo had simply said he disagreed (which he did) with everyone who was speaking against the construction of the fence, it would not have been a big deal.
Yet, he didn’t.
Tancredo made two statements that should make everyone in this country, who prides the multicultural aspect of our nation, sit up and take notice of the kind of people being given free reign in deciding the direction of this country.

Late in the five-hour hearing, Tancredo returned to a comment made earlier by panelist Betty Perez, a rancher and local activist. Perez said, “It really isn’t a border to most of us who live down here.”
Tancredo dismissed Perez’s remarks as a “multiculturalist attitude toward borders.”
As jeers rose, Tancredo added, “I suggest that you build this fence around the northern part of your city.”

Basically, Tancredo was telling the people to build the fence so that their entire city would be on the Mexican side.
Are these remarks worthy of an elected official? Is this the kind of mindset we want our children to be exposed to?
No telling how many students were in attendance at today’s congressional hearing. No doubt though that Tancredo’s comments made it into the student newspaper.
What kind of message do his remarks send to the children of the Valley whose lives have always been binational?
As an elected official, Tancredo, or any political official for that matter, should not say things that diminish the citizenship/patriotism of others.
Tancredo obviously crossed that “line” when he made these comments. And why wasn’t he challenged over these remarks?
It’s bad enough the people who live along the US-Mexico border must fight to preserve their way of life but it’s far worse that they should have to defend their patriotism to someone who holds a seat in Congress.

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  • Daniel
    April 28, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    He can build the fence as far north as he wants as far as I’m concerned.

  • Frank
    April 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I didn’t see anything offensive in Tancredo’s remarks. If the border residents feel that a few feet of their property is more important than security for this entire nation then he was offering them another option knowing full well that what they wanted was to have their cake and eat it to. In otherwords they wanted to remain Americans with all the blessings that go with it but are denying our country the right to a secure border because of their own selfish interests and bi-cultural ethnocentrism.

  • Texano78704
    April 29, 2008 at 9:47 am

    It’s not surprise that Tancredo and his ilk are bigots. It should be not surprise either that they are hypocrites.
    The issue of security is pure B.S. It hasn’t been a problem for over 160 years and now, all of a sudden, we have to have a fence? Yeah, right!

  • Frank
    April 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Please explain what makes Tancredo a bigot and a hypocrite.
    160 years ago we didn’t have a 9/11. 160 years ago we didn’t have 20 million illegal aliens in our country. 160 years ago our population wasn’t 300 million. 160 years ago we didn’t have the amount of drugs crossing our borders as we do today.

  • media
    April 29, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    For some reason, this fence is so important to the deportation-only crowd. It is not security, because that is just silly. It is something deeply symbolic to them about a moat between “our culture” and “their culture.” The point of the woman at the hearing was that in that part of Texas, and in other borderland areas, it is one culture and has been for ever. I want borders and think they are important, but we have given unlimited power to one man, Michael Chertoff, to take any land, kill any living thing (including people) in order to put up this ineffective symbol of keep out (when we know their is a help wanted sign here too).
    Sad and scary.

  • Frank
    April 29, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Wrong! In a 14 mile sector of San Dieog where the double layered fence was erected on the border, it cut back illegal entry by 80-90%. That is more than “symbolic”.
    If you erect a fence on your own private property is it to snub your neighbor or to keep out undesirables and trespassers? Your arguments are ridiculous.
    Culture has nothing to do with erecting a fence for security purposes nor should it be. There will still be legal points of entry and that is as it should be. The total disrespect that the Mexican people have shown towards our soveirgnty as a nation has brought us to this along with possible terrorist entry.
    If the latter enters our country in that manner, those property owners and their lizards won’t have to worry about their selfish interests anymore, they will be most likely be blown to kingdom come like the rest of us.

  • mayanmx
    May 1, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Again, its not about the debate on the border fence, people can have their opinions. But for a official like Tanredo to speak so insultingly is just plain embarrassing for our country. Did it take him five hours to come back with that one? Boy, he’s quick on his feet! I’ve never had much respect for him and now, have less. How about he builds a fence around himself and those of his ilk who are simply terrified of anything outside themselves. Tanredo doesn’t have a more valuable opinion than citizens because he is an elected official, his vote is only one.
    Frank, how many acres are you putting up?
    If you don’t live there, is it really appropriate to suggest someone else give up their land and way of life? It just goes to show how out of touch these guys are still. The news shows every night how the technology fence doesn’t work. How about some diplomacy and working out the immigration issue?
    Whatever, its not a surprise.

  • Frank
    May 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    If I lived on the border, I would be willing to sell whatever land I had to for border security. You see I care about the nation as a whole, not just myself. If people are willing to give their lives for this country as in the military, why is it objectionable to give up a few acres of dirt?
    The fence they are having a problem with is not real a fence at all, it is a “virtual fence”. High tech gadgets that aren’t functioning right. But they are working on fixing. The fence that will work is an actual fence (physical barrier). It is a double layed one with a trench in between. It has worked very well in San Diego.

  • dw
    May 2, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Sorry, no. I put a fence up around my yard to keep my dogs from getting run over.
    It’s objectionable to give up “a few acres of dirt” because back in the day, those few acres used to be hundreds or thousands of acres. Little by little, the government took everything away. Some of these people have owned that land for generations upon generations. Now the government is trying to take away what little they have left of their heritage, sometimes several miles north of the border? What good is that? I’d be pissed, too.
    Add that to the fact that the wall mysteriously stops at the gates of wealthier neighborhoods and golf courses. There are big gaping holes all over this wall, so as not to disturb the landscape of rich people. It’s nothing but a symbol of racism and classism.

  • Frank
    May 2, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Border security should still be a priorty with all Americans. Since their land is near our border with Mexico, it is just unfortunate for them that they will have to be the ones to sacrifice.
    As far as these rich neighborhoods go, if what you say is true it will all come back to bite them in the butt because guess what? If those are going to be gaping holes, then that is where the illegals will be trying to pass through. I am sure those elites aren’t going to like them coming through their neighborhoods and golf courses, so that will change real quick.
    Again, seeking border security and enforcing our immigraton laws has nothing to do with racism.

  • Daniel
    May 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Tancredo tells audience to build the border wall further north.

  • Frank
    May 5, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    That isn’t what he really meant but even if he did that should make the Mexicans happy.

  • Horace
    May 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    “By virtue of his political office and power, an elected official should exercise diplomacy when speaking in public.”
    Marisa, Tancredo represents his Colorado constituency, and is held accountable to them, not the nation, as a whole. Only when it coincidentally reflects the opinion of other parts of the country in general, does Tancredo represents our population in general, as he does in this case. Senators and Congressmen need not be diplomatic, or even politically correct, as this is not a requirement for office. They needn’t be fundamentally honest, as we’ve seen in the case of Democrat, Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), who was caught red-handed with thousands of pay-off money in his freezer. And in his case, his constituency didn’t even care, as they re-elected him nonetheless. Unlike federal civil servants, who are subject to ethical codes to remain in their positions, the Legislative Branch is not held to very high standards.
    Your statement shows your naivete of congressional politics.

  • g
    July 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    160 years ago and prior your ancestors were aliens to this country. Its a cycle people. The problem is that we have bad management of this country and the management is only getting worse. Tancredo sure doesnt sound like a native name to me? Also, isnt it funny that Tancredo, yes the same Tancredo against immigration hired some of those same “criminal aliens” to work on his home!?!?!? Hmmmm… How do you fill up neighborhoods and cities by selling these “illigal immigrants” homes and cars and giving them jobs and then all of a sudden, its a problem!?!?!?

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