Politics & Government

Tancredo: 'Obama is a cult leader'

The immigration debate continues to heat up as the nation's leaders get personal and answer tough questions about whether illegal immigrants should be given a chance to remain in the country legally.

Former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado, called President Barack Obama a “cult leader” when talking about his immigration plan. Speaking on the conservative news radio program “Dateline: Washington,” Tancredo said Obama is trying to dress up a plan that amounts to "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Here is an excerpt.

He is — you have to admit — he is a cult leader. And the cult will go with him wherever he wants to go. You just don't know about the size of the cult; how big it is — if it's shrinking or growing.

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said illegal immigration makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy. He told a Senate subcommittee last week that an overhaul of immigration laws is "badly needed" to create legal avenues for skilled and unskilled illegal immigrants to enter the country. Here is what he had to say:

is little doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy. Between 2000 and 2007, for example, it accounted for more than a sixth of the increase in our total civilian labor force.

Some evidence suggests that unskilled illegal immigrants, almost all from Latin America, marginally suppress wage levels of native-born Americans without a high school diploma, and impose significant costs on some state and local governments.

However the estimated wage suppression and fiscal costs are relatively small and economists generally view the overall economic benefits of this workforce as significantly outweighing the costs.

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