Saturday, October 27, 2007
Hypothetical political coincidence or Tom Tancredo is on denial stage for bigotry and conspiracy for Immigration raids at the hotel where he stayed?
Immigration agents raid hotel where Tancredo stayed
federal immigration raid has shut down a Vermont hotel where Rep. Tom Tancredo, a hard-line opponent of illegal immigration, stayed during a recent campaign visit to neighboring New Hampshire.
Tancredo told reporters about the coincidence during a visit to Davenport, Iowa, on Thursday night, saying he was surprised to learn the news from his New Hampshire campaign staff.
According to the Associated Press, agents from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement searched two hotels in Brattleboro, Vt. — a Hampton Inn and a Quality Inn.
The hotels' Canadian owner, Gurdeep Nagra, 38, was arrested and charged with harboring and employing illegal immigrants, and lying to authorities to gain his own authorization to live in the United States. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Tuesday in Burlington.
Fourteen hotel workers were arrested on suspected immigration violations, the Associated Press said.
The investigation reportedly began about a year ago — long before Tancredo's stay at the Hampton Inn on Sept. 22.
Tancredo has made immigration the centerpiece of his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination, and for several years he has been harshly critical of President Bush's administration for what he considers lax enforcement of immigration laws.
In Muscatine, Iowa, on Thursday night, he told a handful of supporters gathered in a mostly empty high school auditorium that aggressive enforcement of existing laws against businesses that employ illegal immigrants would shut off the jobs "magnet" that prompts people to enter the country illegally.
"It wouldn't be an issue if we would enforce the law," Tancredo said.
Although he has been known to prompt immigration authorities to investigate cases — as he did last week when congressional colleagues invited illegal immigrants to a briefing at the U.S. Capitol — Tancredo said he was unaware of the issues at the hotel until after the raids.
When his staff told him about the news, he said his first thought was about his life on the road during the campaign and "that I can't distinguish one Hampton Inn from another."