Tom Tancredo Does the Dirty Jobs So You—and Illegal Immigrants—Don't Have To!


Rep. Tom Tancredo, the immigrant-bashing GOP presidential hopeful, was the sole member of the Party of Lincoln to speak to a recent NAACP confab in Detroit Rock City. From a Boston Globe account:

"Do you think we should wait a few minutes to see if the [other GOP candidates] show up?" Tancredo said, drawing a big laugh from the crowd. "Do they know something I don't know, is that it? I think actually I know something that they don't know."

That line drew a loud cheer from the audience, clearly appreciative that Tancredo had bothered to show up. He used his opening remarks to talk about his signature issue, illegal immigration, and how it was hurting American workers, and especially African-American workers. Tancredo said he gets "insulted" every time he hears that illegal immigrants are working jobs American citizens won't take.

"I've done those jobs, you've done those jobs, our kids have done those jobs," he said.

More here.

Here's the grueling work history described at the candidate's campaign website:

Before his election to Congress, he served five years in the Colorado legislature, and was appointed regional representative for the Department of Education by President Reagan, a position he held for over ten years.

More here.

As befits a president, Tancredo is being too modest. There's some real callous-building activity in his past. Wikipedia's entry on Tancredo notes that the congressman was eligible for service in Vietnam but received a deferment. Here's the Denver Post's account:

As a Republican student activist, Tancredo spoke out in favor of the Vietnam War. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in June 1969, he became eligible to serve in Vietnam. Tancredo said he went for his physical, telling doctors he'd been treated for depression, and eventually got a "1-Y" deferment.

But Young Tom wasn't done with doing the jobs that only nativist Americans will do, the Post reports. After skipping the war he supported, he "became a junior high school teacher" before running for the state legislature in 1976.

More here.

Tancredo responds to reason cover story on immigrants working the Christmas Tree industry in North Carolina here.

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  1. he “became a junior high school teacher”

    Hell, Tancredo even worked jobs illegal immigrants won’t do.

  2. Yea Right…

    Kick out all of the Mexicans so that Blacks can
    …work on the fields picking tomatoes ???
    …do agricultural work ???

    I think they will SPIT on ur tomato b4 picking it

  3. Hell, how about I read the title? No one out-snarks Gillespie.

  4. I’d make a comment about all the non-African Americans I saw picking crops on the backroads of California last weekend, and how I can imagine Tancredo’s America where those “opportunities” are largely reserved for African-Americans again… I’d speculate as to why people at the NAACP would think that vision of America was something they wanted to hear about…

    …but none of that would be fair.

  5. can’t agree more Ken…I feel that the NAACP has really lost touch

  6. Alice,

    We bet you do.

  7. I agree with MikeP.

  8. At least he showed up. It seems Ron Paul doesnt plan to speak to any black audiences/”civil rights” groups, not even the more moderate/Republican friendly ones. Collectivists or not, I think it’s still worth showing up and attempting to explain the individualist answers to civil rights/liberties. Maybe he doesnt want to explain those nasty newsletters and feels better being the typical ultra-conservative angry white guy candidate.

    It would be nice if he actually attempted to explain things people care about and talk to people outside of the wingnut comfort zone. ( Outside of the one “tall black guy in the Obama shirt”)

  9. JJ3 –
    I don’t think Ron Paul is the ultra-conservative angry white guy candidate. He just doesn’t believe in group labeling and lobbying power. If he were to speak to the NAACP, his critics would merely have pointed out that he was appealing to a group lobbying organization, which is contradictory to his stance.

  10. I don’t think the proverbial list of jobs that Americans “don’t want” is limited to just field work either. There’s being a nanny, food preparation, janitorial work, blah, blah, blah…

    …and how nice of Tancredo to point out that there are plenty of black people to fill those jobs! But if black people aren’t taking those jobs, because they aren’t willing to work for so little rather than because of the nature of the work, then isn’t it because they already have something better?

    For every black person who really wants a job that Americans “don’t want” but just can’t find a way to make ends meet, I bet there’s at least ten black people who make ends meet, in part, by utilizing illegal immigrant labor to provide affordable child care, inexpensive food, etc., etc.

  11. as icky as it is to defend Tancredo, he may have done some hard work in his life. I mean, he went to UNC, so I doubt he was born into great privilege.

  12. well, thaht’s jest fahn of Tancredo. Mighty white of him.

    (fer an Ai-tai. gimme something American. I want French Fries)

  13. Ron Paul should have gone to the NAACP and spoke truth to power, told them how he didn’t want their kids getting killed in Iraq or in other adventures, told them how blacks get a raw deal under social security, told them how public education screws them, etc. If they booed him off the stage, so what?

  14. U hit it on the NOSE Ken Shultz

    Black people have great Jobs…Many are CEOs, Dr., Engineers, Police, Real Estate Agents, Accountants, Construction, delivery, postmen, cable guys, bar tenders, etc. ,etc. etc.

    I don’t think Blacks…or anyone else that can do the jobs i listed above would care to mow lawns, work textile, hard-labor construction, picking tomates, bus boy, restaurant work, etc….That’s where the demand for These illegal Aliens come from

  15. It appears 2 me…and many minorities that the Republican (and some democrat) movement is to eliminate affirmative action and REQUIRE poor white/spanish/black kids (even talented ones with potential) to go sub-standard schools in their ghettos so that they won’t have a choice but do Mexican work.

    I feel with kicking out Mexicans, eliminating the mixture of poor blacks with middle class whites (which was a big influence in my life)…the expectation is that the labor can STILL be cheap…and blacks (and poor other people) will need to Shut-up and Sit-down and be a janitor, a waiter, a lawn worker, hardlaboror, etc. etc. etc.

    THAT’s y I b-lieve Replublicans will get 0.1% of the BLACK vote. And btw, that 0.1% are single issue votes (gays and abortion) that would rather loose an entire generation of their own people…than defy G-D.

  16. Tom Tancredo says a lot of crazy stuff, but I think he’s right on here. I’m a professional, but I worked as a dishwasher to help pay for school and I never felt oppressed when I did it. But that’s a classic job “American’s won’t do.”

    If you really want to argue with this, you need to explain why supply-and-demand affects the price of everything in the market EXCEPT labor, so that flooding the market with cheap unskilled labor doesn’t depress wages for the jobs those people can do.

  17. Obviously, the ferret on Gillespie’s head has interfered with his thought processes, such as the false claim that Tancredo engages in “immigrant-bashing”.

    I see very little difference between this fact-free smear attempt and something that I’d read from the SPLC, ThinkProgress, or dozens of other far-left smear sites.

    Perhaps Gillespie’s just at the wrong magazine.

  18. If you really want to argue with this, you need to explain why supply-and-demand affects the price of everything in the market EXCEPT labor, so that flooding the market with cheap unskilled labor doesn’t depress wages for the jobs those people can do.

    Indeed, supply and demand affects labor just as it affects any other trade. No one said it doesn’t. But supply and demand also tells us that there is more production and more demand if the price can be made lower. That’s generally a good thing. Why would one want to thwart it by preventing people willing to work from working?

    But the more important effect of low end immigrant labor in the economy is the comparative advantage it allows native labor. If someone else is doing the jobs that anyone can do, that frees up native workers to do the jobs that they are better at, for a higher wage and with a higher economic surplus. That is why immigrant labor consistently raises wages of all but the very lowest class of native workers.

  19. Dammit, lonewhacko’s escaped from his mom’s basement again. Who’s turn was it to look after him?

  20. Tom Tancredo says a lot of crazy stuff, but I think he’s right on here. I’m a professional, but I worked as a dishwasher to help pay for school and I never felt oppressed when I did it. But that’s a classic job “American’s won’t do.”

    I had a part time job as a busboy in HS as well, but I wouldn’t do that full time or as a career, or try and support my family on that wage like many illegal immigrants do.

    Willingness to take a part time college job for some extra scratch does not prove that Americans are willing to do that job.

    I also don’t agree that there exists such a thing as a job American’s won’t do. They won’t do it for the meager wages that are offered. The wages that are offered for busboys and lawn mowers can only support a family when you are sending that money back to the homeland and everything is cheaper than it would be here.

    Every single illegal immigrant busboy I have known (and I knew lots of ’em) that was sending money back home was supporting a family and getting ahead in Mexico with that money. If the family were here they wouldn’t be making it.

  21. I wouldn’t piss on Tom Tancredo if he was on fire, but this post is just a pile of cheap shots.

  22. Yes, Lonewacko, Tom Tancredo loves immigrants. Loves them. He just has a problem with the “illegals.” I know this, because he told me, and he’s a Congressman.

    Why, Tom Tancredo loves legal immigrants so much that he has proposed a “timeout,” which is politician-speak for a federal ban on all legal immigration for several years. Yes, that is correct – Tom Tancredo has stated that he wants to make any immmigration into the United States a federal crime, and to keep this law in place for some unspecified number of years.

    Because he loves them so much.

  23. I have a dishwasher. I pay it $0/hr, but I do give it the occasional compliment. Unloading it is my least favorite part of the cycle.

    Sometimes I wonder what people would say if robot workers who work for free began crossing into the U.S. and picking lettuce, etc. But then I stop looking out the window and go back to unloading the dishwasher.

  24. So A a Black Male Tom Tancredo want me to give up my high paying job in an air condition space for field work in a hot or cold farm? I have only one response You crazy!

    I hate to put it but I do not believe farmers and janitorial companies do not have racial quotes and will accept any person who will to take the wage offered. If only the so call illegals step up to the plate then Tom has no grounds to complain.

  25. joe: a timeout doesn’t equate to hatred or bashing of immigrants.

    Of course, I fully expect those who profit from MassiveImmigration or IllegalImmigration in some way to pretend it does, but I suggest trying to be just as intellectually honest as you can possibly be.

    On a sidenote, here’s a screengrab of Gillespie from a recent RedEye appearance.

  26. “joe: a timeout doesn’t equate to hatred or bashing of immigrants.”

    Did joe say a timeout equated to hatred or bashing on another thread somewhere?

    …’cause I don’t see him saying that in this thread anywhere.

  27. Did joe say a timeout equated to hatred or bashing on another thread somewhere?

    …’cause I don’t see him saying that in this thread anywhere.

    Ken, that’s just TLB being just as intellectually honest as he can possibly be.

  28. Can everyone with a brain just for once state it for the record: Cheap labor good — Welfare State bad????

  29. My neighborhood has a problem with dog owners not picking up their dogs’ Tancredo. Fortunately, as the home town of Jim Gilchrist, Lake Forest has a steady supply of (mostly illegal) immigrant labor down by the local UHaul yard. I went down there the other day to see if I could get a couple of them to pick up the Tancredo for a little extra cash on a recurring basis. Sadly, there are some jobs that even illegal immigrants won’t do.

  30. Anyone who criticizes mass immigration from Mexico must necessarily be an immigrant-basher.

  31. It is a shame Tancredo is such a nut on immigration (halting legal immigration? wtf) because he is more libertarian on a lot of issues than most of the other candidates. He makes a point to talk about mandatory spending and entitlement reform, unlike the other candidates who circle jerk each other about vetoes for discretionary spending. He’s for private accounts in social security, cutting healthcare spending, tax credits for education (way better than vouchers) and he is slightly more realistic about Iraq than the rest of the crop.

    Sadly, his love of federalism ends with gay marriage, where he believes an amendment would be just peachy. His website’s rationalization lectures about “the interests of the state”. He’s also a creationist and righteously prolife.

    Actually Ronnie MC (Ron Paul…) isn’t too hot on immigration either.

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