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Congressman Tancredo Blasts Pope on His Pro-Immigrant Stance

Usually, when you see staunch anti-immigration Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) engaged in conversation, you assume they're talking about one thing: kicking illegal immigrants out of the country.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict's embrace of immigrants in the United States has one congressman seeing red. (AP Photo)

But Wednesday night, at a birthday reception for Pope Benedict XVI at the Italian Embassy, Tancredo and Bilbray were locked in a heated discussion about something else -- their entourages. (That's how they roll, y'all.)

Tancredo, who was raised Catholic but left the church, was with his wife, Jackie, and about nine of her friends. He was overheard lamenting how difficult it was to move around the party with such a large "entourage." Bilbray (not a lapsed Catholic), who had his wife, Karen, and friends in tow, nodded as if to suggest he felt Tancredo's pain.

Even though Tancredo attended the pope's birthday reception, he was not happy with Benedict -- at all.

The pope on Wednesday called for welcoming immigrants to the United States and even issued a statement in Spanish telling the Latino community he would urge President Bush to grant legal status to illegal immigrants living in the states.

That's the kind of thing that makes Tancredo, who staked his now-defunct presidential campaign on an anti-immigration platform that included building a gigantic fence along the border of Mexico, go ballistic, to put it mildly.

Tancredo was fit to be tied by a line he read in an Agence France-Presse story that quoted the pope as saying the United States must do "everything possible to fight ... all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives."

"I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered violent," Tancredo said in a statement provided to The Sleuth. "I fail to see how accepting more refugees than any other nation -- and providing free health care, education, housing and social service benefits to millions of illegal aliens is in any way 'violent' or 'degrading.'"

Basically, Tancredo doesn't want Pope Benedict meddling in U.S. policy matters. "It is not in his job description to engage in American politics," Tancredo said.

Our guess is that Tancredo will remain a lapsed Catholic.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  April 17, 2008; 12:52 PM ET
 
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Posted by: votenic | April 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Tancredo is a nutcase...does anyone really care what he says these days? The bet here is that David Duke is less of a bigot than Tancredo.

Posted by: Barno | April 17, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Good job! An outright lie, a misleading statement, and an incorrect term right in the first sentence:

1. Neither are "anti-immigration".
2. While both support enforcement of our laws (unlike those corrupt Dem and GOP leaders who, like a cop on the take, want to turn a blind eye to illegal activity), neither support MassDeportations as the "kicking illegal immigrants" part is probably meant to imply.
3. "Illegal aliens" is the correct legal term.

There are several additional problems with the rest, but I don't think anyone else will ever read this. Maybe if you stopped lying you'd have more readers.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | April 18, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

The Pope is championing human rights (his responsibility) whereas Tancredo, et al, are pushing economic and social realities (their responsibility. In the case of illegals in this country, the twain shall never meet!

Posted by: Richard J Mullin | April 18, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

As head of the world's largest child-abuse operation, it would seem that the Pope has all he needs to keep him occupied -instead of sticking his nose into our problems with border-jumping criminals!

Posted by: preacher | April 18, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

VATICAN IS A CITY STATE WITH SELF GOVERNMENT. THIS WOULD BE THE ONLY CITY STATE BORNE FOR THE PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS FAITH. IS THERE ANOTHER SUCH CITY, STATE, OR NATION?

Posted by: SOCIETY | April 18, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering if the Pope would be open to all the illegals showing up on the doorstep of the Vatican so he and the Catholic church could support them?

I'm inclined to think he wouldn't be.

Posted by: Ted | April 18, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

As a practicing Catholic, I too am disturbed by the Pope's simplistic open border solution for all of Mexico's 60 million plus; this same nonsense is likewise being espoused and proffered as a solution by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops nitwits. Fortunately neither the Pope nor the Bishops speak with any authority that I am required to endorse or accept.

I'm not aware of any country in the world that has more generous immigration policies as the U.S nor does any other
country so poorly control its borders.

Posted by: Dai Uy | April 18, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

If I went to a country that issued me a 90 day visa, and if, on the 91st day I had failed to leave, I would not suddenly become an "immigrant". Nor would I be a "migrant" if I snuck into a country uninvited. I would be an American, apparently arrogant/ignorant enough to think that the laws of my host country don't apply to me. I would be an "illegal alien", or more succinctly, an "illegal".

Posted by: Brian | April 19, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Brian- I agree that the correct term is "illegal alien" when referring to someone in a country illegally. However, the word "illegal" is an adjective, not a noun or pronoun and so while it may be more succinct, it is incorrect.

Posted by: bobgreen | April 21, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

tancredo can lick my ass

Posted by: votenic | April 29, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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