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Hannity

Exclusive! Rep. Tom Tancredo on Immigration and His New Book

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 26, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Last week, House Republicans announced a series of summer hearings on immigration to be held in three border states. Critics charge the move is simply a stalling tactic, but Speaker Dennis Hastert insists the hearings will ensure any new legislation is done the right now.

Joining us now, in a “Hannity & Colmes” exclusive, the author of "In Mortal Danger: The Battle For America's Border and Security," the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, congressman from Colorado, Tom Tancredo.

Congressman, thank you very much for being with us tonight.

REP. TOM TANCREDO (R), COLORADO: Good evening. It's a pleasure, as always.

COLMES: Given the title of your book, do you believe we're on the road to ruin in this country?

TANCREDO: I most certainly do. And I believe we are in a clash of civilizations.

And I've got to explain, first of all, right off the bat, we're not talking about immigration being the "thing" that's bringing us into mortal danger, but I'm telling you it is an exacerbating factor. We are in mortal danger, I think, because we are in a clash of civilizations. I believe that Samuel Huntington has written about it, and I think he's right.

COLMES: You know...

TANCREDO: And I believe — I'm sorry.

COLMES: I'm sorry. In your book, you quote former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and you said that he wasn't that far off when he said, in his book of 1998, "The Next War," when he said that the U.S. would be at war with Mexico by 2003. Well, he really was off on that. And isn't this the kind of alarmist rhetoric that just stirs people up?

TANCREDO: Well, he was off on saying that we would be — I mean, if he was, and in fact, was insinuating a formal, declared war. But in a way, we are at war with Mexico, in a way.

I'll say it in this way: Mexico is aiding and abetting an invasion of this country. They are part of the problem. They are doing what they are — in fact, they are creating situations along that border using their own military to protect drug trafficking into the United States, pushing their own people into the United States for a variety of reasons. It is an invasion. It is an act of aggression.

COLMES: Most of them are here to do better for their families, to send money home.

TANCREDO: Yeah, you bet!

COLMES: Let me ask you this: Since you differ with the president on this so much, would you have the president come campaign with you in your re-election bid?

TANCREDO: You know what? I can't even conceive of a situation where the president of the United States would agree to come into the Colorado — nor would I actually need him to do so, because we are so far apart on this issue, I don't think there's anything that we could stand on a stage and agree upon, especially when it comes to immigration.

COLMES: And you're a Republican saying this. I happen to agree with the president on immigration. I think he's smart about this...

TANCREDO: That's why I can't have in — he wouldn't come in, and I wouldn't have him, because you agree with him.

(LAUGHTER)

MIKE GALLAGHER, GUEST CO-HOST: Alan Colmes' endorsement...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: ... dictate who your campaigners are.

GALLAGHER: That's a red flag right there, Congressman.

TANCREDO: You bet!

GALLAGHER: Alan is on the side of the president on this.

COLMES: I'm going to endorse him before we're done.

GALLAGHER: Oh, no, no, please, please.

TANCREDO: What does that tell you? What does that tell you?

GALLAGHER: Please, don't do him any favors, Alan, please. Michelle Malkin says, Congressman, that you're a rare breed in Washington who puts principle above ego and country above party.

Do you feel betrayed or otherwise abandoned by some of the normally reliable conservative voices in Washington who don't seem to have their moral footing on this issue?

TANCREDO: You bet I do. And, remember, it's a bigger picture than just the immigration part of this. We are looking at something happening in this country. — In my book, I talk about the cult of multiculturalism, and it really does have sort of a death grip on America.

And, you know, it's the face of the cult of multiculturalism — I'll put one on it, and it's Ward Churchill, who, by the way, I just found out 20 minutes ago is getting fired finally from the University of Colorado.

GALLAGHER: We're going to talk about it in just a few moments here, tonight.

TANCREDO: OK, well, but he is not unique, unfortunately. He's not unique on college campuses. And this idea that America — that there's nothing here of value, that Western civilization, as a matter of fact, is to be debased.

And, believe me, in my book, I talk about what I have seen in schools throughout, not just in my district, but throughout this country. When I talk about America and kids say, "America?" Now, I'm telling you this happened. Kids say, "America? You're talking about the continent, right?"

GALLAGHER: They don't know.

TANCREDO: Yes.

GALLAGHER: And there is moral clarity that's lacking on this issue.

TANCREDO: There is.

GALLAGHER: I mean, that's the whole reason for amnesty being the centerpiece of this debate. And you write about it so brilliantly in your book, "In Mortal Danger." Amnesty means we're not going to punish somebody who broke the law to get here to get citizenship in the first place.

What is it about amnesty that so many people don't seem to understand?

TANCREDO: It's amazing. And you know what? When you take it again to the bigger picture, not just what it means in terms of millions and millions of more people coming into this country because, of course, we have rewarded illegal behavior, and therefore you're going to get a lot more of it, but beyond that, you're talking about one of the basic tenets of American society, of Western civilization again, the rule of law.

GALLAGHER: Doing the right thing.

TANCREDO: Doing the right thing and abiding by the rule of law. And when the first act of someone coming into this country is to break the law, and we accept that — as a matter of fact, we actually will benefit these people — we will say, "You get the goodies, you get same thing that somebody who comes in here [gets] and does it the right way."

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Congressman, are you sure you don't want my endorsement or I'll come out and do a fundraiser for you?

TANCREDO: Endorse the book, but that's as far as it goes.

COLMES: I see. All right...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: I've been rejected.

GALLAGHER: Don't do it. Don't do it.

(LAUGHTER)

COLMES: Thank you for being with us.

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