Former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo is pondering running for governor.
Tancredo, who made headlines while in Congress for his hard line approach to illegal immigration, stressed to reporters that he is only considering it, and is far from a firm decision.
If he runs in 2014, Tancredo would be up against the sitting governor, Democrat John Hinkenlooper, who has a decidedly more liberal approach to immigration than the former congressman.
Tancredo, who served in Congress from 1999 to 2009, is against a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants and against continuing to grant automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born babies of undocumented immigrants.
He wants to see stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
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In 2011, Tancredo formed a political action committee focused on immigration.
The PAC, called the American Legacy Alliance, was set up to “raise unlimited funds around the cause of illegal immigration,” according to Tancredo’s website at the time.
The PAC was to support candidates and groups that share Tancredo’s views on taking a hard line on illegal immigration. The website Tancredo set up for the PAC featured pictures of children and described a country in which “English will give way to the hodgepodge of languages spoken by those that chose to ignore what few immigration laws remain.”
“The rule of law will only exist to protect the rights of those that break the law and exploit the system,” it said.
Colorado recently has passed a series of laws easing restrictions on undocumented immigrants.
State lawmakers passed a law allowing them to pay in-state college tuition rates, and Hickenlooper signed a bill repealing a 2006 law that requires police to alert federal authorities about immigrants suspected of living illegally in the United States.
In 2006, it passed with bipartisan support during a year lawmakers approved some of the strictest immigration enforcement policies the state had ever seen.
The law was a precursor to more controversial policies later adopted in Arizona and Alabama.
Tancredo was a GOP candidate in the presidential primaries in 2008. His central theme was immigration.
Tancredo has run for the Colorado governorship before. In 2010, he ran against Hinkenlooper, who won, as a third-party candidate, getting roughly 35 percent of the vote. The Republican candidate, Dan Maes, received 11 percent.
Tancredo switched back to the Republican Party.
Groups that want tougher immigration enforcement praise Tancredo's views on the issue. Groups that favor more lenient immigration policies long have assailed Tancredo, accusing him of inflaming ethnic tensions and unfairly demonizing immigrants.