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Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the most outspoken member of Congress on the issue of illegal immigration, wants an investigation into why a study of aliens crossing the border was discontinued by the Bush administration after initial results indicated the president’s proposed “temporary worker proposal” plan encourages illegals to enter the U.S.
Tancredo and watchdog legal group Judicial Watch released previously undisclosed documents relating to the Border Patrol’s 2004 survey. The survey asked illegal aliens whether they had heard of a U.S. government amnesty plan for illegal aliens (61 percent had) and whether the amnesty plan influenced their decision to cross the border (45 percent answered that it did).
According to a statement from Tancredo, memos from the Border Patrol and the White House obtained by Judicial Watch suggest the survey was conducted for political reasons. The poll was initiated on the day Bush announced his immigration plan, which critics refer to as an amnesty plan, and it was supposed to run for six months.
Three weeks later, however, a memo apparently from a Border Patrol source (titled “Casa Blanca Additional Info”) said the survey was producing only 38 percent “positive responses.” The survey was stopped days later, Tancredo notes, and Department of Homeland Security spokespersons received a memo titled “White House Approved Talking Points” that instructed them “not [to] talk about amnesty” or about the president’s proposal.
(Posted on June 29, 2005)