SB1070 Update: Tea Party split on immigration


by David Safier

Tom Tancredo admits, the tea party is split on immigration and SB1070. The more pro-immigration, libertarian wing of the TP-ers want to shut the hell up about immigration, since they know it's a wedge issue in the TP ranks. The Tancredo wing wants to shout their anti-immigrant rhetoric from the rooftops. 

Tancredo is not pleased with Dick Armey.

. . . the national Tea Party Patriots, which is affiliated with Richard Armey's Washington, D.C.-based Freedom Works organization, has been vocal and systematic in excluding immigration-related concerns from its "Contract from America." Touted as a grass-roots poll of tea-party members, the poll from its inception has barred any attempt to add immigration concerns to the poll's menu of issues.

Tancredo is also not fond of the libertarian strain of the right wing, and he names names:

[A] group of tea-party leaders who have fought the inclusion of immigration in the tea-party agenda are open-borders libertarians who support amnesty. They are folks found at Freedom Works, the Club for Growth and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.

And he issues a warning.

Local tea-party activists from California to Florida and from Idaho to Massachusetts now see the immigration issue the same way 71 percent of Arizona citizens see it – as a matter of national security, public safety and fiscal necessity. They want their legislators to enact Arizona-style laws in their own states, and they join 88 percent of Americans in saying they want more border security.

Self-proclaimed tea-party leaders in Washington, D.C., who want to deny or obstruct this new tea-party consensus do so at their peril.

I hope Democrats are aware of this split in the right wing ranks over immigration. Tancredo could have included Arizona's own Goldwater Institute in the list of conservative groups whose libertarian tendencies have kept them tight-lipped about somewhat pro-immigration stance, for fear of alienating other right wingers. (In the case of G.I., of course, the greatest fear is alienating their donor base and jeopardizing their cushy 6 figure salaries.)


  1. Being non-partisan doesn’t mean you should be oblivious to political parties nor does it mean that Tom Jenney should never attend partisan political meetings.

  2. todd, good point.

    As for the AFP event I am certain that candidates of any or no party were welcomed if they chose to attend. I have the same belief about the Arizona Education Association. Both groups allow any candidate to participate in their events and as a result both groups are far more worthy groups than if they slighted non-preferred candidates.

  3. Thane, actually the world wasn’t doing a good job of educating people and that is why people like Thomas Jefferson started and established state run universities.

    To the rest of your point – The AFP event was non-partisan in name only, as I think anyone who follows what the do in the state is perfectly aware of.

  4. I will try to avoid being shocked that AFP has advocated that the Papago Park Military Reservation be sold so that government programs that have a vital purpose may be funded.

    I regularly drive past the Papago Park Military Reservation. It may be a fine and dandy place for the government military forces to repair tanks and trucks as well as land the occasional military plane I don’t think it has a vital purpose in defending the state of Arizona from the … ? Russians? Chinese? Mexican government?

    Americans for Prosperity wants to get rid of state supported colleges you say? I (don’t) wonder how ever the world managed to educate and train teachers, miners, businessmen, football players, doctors and nurses before government got into the picture. Spoiler alert: It got done without government control.

    The event at Diablo stadium was an opportunity for candidates to meet with motivated Arizona voters. If Democratic Party candidates felt they had nothing to offer the thousands of people who attended that is their loss.

    You only used extreme and the variant extremist twice in your comment. Your modest use might not be enough to prevent people on the internet from searching for “Americans for Prosperity” on some internet search engine.

  5. Gee, no booth of Democrats at an American for Prosperity event? That’s like asking why Whittaker Chambers wasn’t part of Ayn Rand’s fan club, for goodness sakes.

    The AFP group is a group of extremists that only Ayn Rand cultists could really take seriously or even think about embracing. Get down on your knees, put your hands together in a solemn embrace, and worship the dollar signs you see dancing in the sky….you know what, the Democrats have different values. We believe in building up, rather than tearing down, as the AFP group does.

    AFP advocated to get rid of the following things: all day kindergarten, mine inspectors, state parks, cut community colleges, the Ag Dept, Fish and Game, the Medical Board, DMV’s, among many others. They advocated the state actually sell the Papago Park Military Reservation, sell the Santa Rita Experimental Range, sell concession rights on the Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu, and the Kartchner Caverns. They want to expand the use of tuition tax credits and to move as many kids as possible out of the public school system, want to voucherize higher ed, and have the goal of totally getting rid of any state supported colleges or universities. They pushed to move all state employees out of their insurance plans and into Health Savings Accounts with high deductibles. They want to outsource civil law enforcement, institute toll roads, charterize all school districts, and discontinue AHCCCS.

    These ideas do not make the world a better place. “Limited government,” as preached by the Americans For Prosperity people, is not an attractive idea, not one that builds up, just tears down. The people of Arizona, and the Democrats of Arizona, will not be showing up to their events nor voting for candidates that advocate such extreme ideas.

  6. It doesn’t matter how many Democratic Party candidates know that not all tea party supporters are anti-immigration. There was not a single Democratic Party candidate booth at the last big get together at the April non-partisan Americans for Prosperity organized event at Diablo stadium in Tempe.

    I would have loved to see some Democratic Party candidate booths but I imagine that there weren’t any who were willing to publicly claim that they aren’t for more government taxing and spending.

    I don’t particularly believe Republican Party candidates can be trusted to follow through on their claims but most voters will choose those who claim to be for limited government over those who tell you outright that limited government has no appeal.

    When people get informed enough they will support Libertarian Party candidates.

  7. Hello Arizona,
    Most everyone I know here in California applauds your policy. A friend of mine is on their way to Arizona right now. All this hullabalew you hear is mouth-piece political BS.
    Californians love you. The real owners of America, the politicans do not.