AP Interview: Tancredo to oppose GOP candidates over immigration | VailDaily.com

AP Interview: Tancredo to oppose GOP candidates over immigration

WASHINGTON – The outspoken proponent of a crackdown on illegal immigration said Monday that he would campaign against fellow Republicans who support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants – even Sen. John McCain.”If there are candidates who are diametrically opposed to what we’re trying to accomplish here, and if there’s anything I can do to retard their progress, I will do so,” Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo told The Associated Press.He acknowledged that McCain meets that description.The Arizona senator, considered a likely 2008 presidential contender, has been a leading supporter of a proposal that would create a guest-worker program and give qualified undocumented immigrants a chance to become citizens.Tancredo calls such plans amnesty and earlier this year challenged McCain to debate the subject around the country.A spokeswoman for McCain was not immediately available for comment.In December, Tancredo helped pass a House bill that would impose sanctions on employers who hire illegal workers and would build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.He once considered running for president to make his point about immigration but has all but given up those plans. Instead, Tancredo said he’s willing to help some candidates – and work against others during the GOP presidential primary.”If there’s a role I can play,” he said, “especially if there’s a candidate that does have all the credentials I’m looking for … that would be best.”The Senate left for a two-week holiday still deeply divided over proposed immigration legislation, leaving its fate uncertain.Tancredo has tried to be a force in the Senate debate. On Monday, he began a campaign to pressure swing senators – including Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D. – to pledge their support for an enforcement-only bill.Finding a way to stop the millions of illegal immigrants who enter the United States has been Tancredo’s top issue for years.Vail, Colorado

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