The American Contemplation
What does it mean to be an American? Tancredo had a GREAT answer.
*** post-debate transcript insertion ***
MS. VAUGHN: Erin Gardner’s here with us tonight. Erin, you live in the Gate City, Nashua, New Hampshire.
Q Yes, I do.
MS. VAUGHN: What is your question tonight?
Q With regards to illegal and legal immigration, in your opinion, what does it mean to be an American? What are the tangible and intangible attributes of an American?
MS. VAUGHN: Congressman Tancredo.
REP. TANCREDO: It means, number one, cut from the past. If you come here as an immigrant, great. Welcome. If you come here legally, welcome. It means you cut your ties with the past, familial — especially political ties with the country from which you came.
But let’s be serious about this, you guys. We talk about all the immigration reform we want, and what it’s got to get down to is this: Are we ready for a timeout? Are we actually ready to say, “Enough is enough”? We have to stop all legal immigration except for the — for people coming into this country as family members, immediate family members, and/or refugees. Are we willing to actually say that and say enough — is it — we have got to actually begin the process of assimilating people who have come in this great wave of immigration. The process of assimilation is not going on.
And how long? How long will it take us for that — for us to catch up with the millions of people who have come here, both legally and illegally, and assimilate them? I’ll tell you this. It’ll take this long: until we no longer have to press 1 for English and 2 for any other language. (Applause.)