Tom Tancredo

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Thomas Gerard "Tom" Tancredo (1945-) is a prominent American conservative and Republican. He was a U.S. Representative from the suburban Denver, Colorado area, elected in 1998 and serving until 2008, when he did not run for reelection. He was, briefly, a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election. His "signature issue" is illegal immigration, but he is a positions himself as an intense foe of multiculturalism.[1]

Even while serving as a Republican congressman, he positioned himself as an outsider. In his book, he wrote of immigration policy
For years I have been one of the few to voice my concern over the marriage of politics and the law. On the left side of the aisle, politicians continue to do nothing about immigration because they know their ambiguities turn into votes for them. The right does nothing to stop it because we believe it generates cheap labor. The sum of those two powerful interests has stopped us from doing anything significant about the immigration problem and border security.

Our borders are porous because we lack the political will to close them. The amazing thing is we have the technology and resources to secure our border tomorrow, but we lack the will to do it.

Is it right that our borders allow the influx of millions of people to take the jobs of Americans? To force people either to work for less money than they were working for just a few years ago. To be unemployed? All in order to achieve political goals.[2]

Tea Party Movement

See also: Tea Party Movement

At the National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, he verbally attacked both 2008 presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, always referring to the latter as "Barack Hussein Obama," whom he called a "committed socialist". [3] He continued to say that the President was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote...People who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House."[4]


Illegal immigration is the issue with which he is most associated. He founded the House Immigration Reform Caucus. For many years, Tancredo was the only Republican to vocally oppose President George W. Bush's immigration policies leading to Karl Rove to call him "a traitor to the president,” and warned him to never "darken the doorstep of the White House” in 2002. By 2006, however, he obtained support from other House conservatives.[1]

By 2005, he dismissed the calls of Patrick Buchanan and Joseph Farah proposals to impeach Bush over immigration policy, saying passage of his own H.R. 3333 bill would solve the problem It competes with a joint reform bill from John McCain and Ted Kennedy, and a third bill from Jon Kyl. [5]

He condemned Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl,in 2007, for not fighting George W. Bush's amnesty proposals, saying "U.S. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona has outraged many Republicans by joining with Ted Kennedy in sponsoring and leading the fight for the new Senate amnesty bill. He has joined John McCain as the two most unpopular elected officials among rank and file Republicans in Arizona. Kyl has thus joined President Bush and Karl Rove in thinking that “statesmanship” means abandoning your party’s core principles in order to appease the National Council of La Raza." [6]


Challenging the qualifications of Sonia Sotomayor as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he called her a "racist" for past affiliations with the Hispanic interest group,, National Council of La Raza, calling it "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses."[7]

Voting record

Organization Rating Source
American Civil Liberties Union 7%
American Conservative Union 76%
Americans for Democratic Action 10%
Americans United for Separation of Church and State 0%
Cato Institute 61%
Christian Coalition 100%
Human Rights Campaign 0%
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 19%
National Rifle Association B+
National Right to Life Committee 100%
National Taxpayers Union 84%

Early career

After leaving the Department of Education, he became president of the conservative think tank, The Independence Institute where he remained until his election to Congress in 1998.

In the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, he served as Regional Representative to the U.S. Department of Education.

During his four years as a Colorado State Representative, Tancredo led a group of conservative legislators who then Democratic Governor Richard Lamm called the “House crazies.”

His conservative activism started with the College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Northern Colorado. After teaching junior high school for several years, he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1977.


  • B.A., University of Northern Colorado