Video: Video: Tancredo weighs in on boycott
updated 7/17/2006 5:06:54 PM ET 2006-07-17T21:06:54

Millions of Americans are very bothered by the nationwide rallies under the banner of "A Day Without Immigrants."  The issue that has so many Americans outraged is not immigration, but illegal immigration. 

A day without illegal immigrants might well be day of falling crime rates, lower taxes and more jobs for workers who are here legally. 

Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado is an outspoken critic of illegal immigration and what he calls the cult of multiculturalism. 

Tucker Carlson discussed these issues with with Congressman Tancredo. This is an excerpt of their conversation.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, "THE SITUATION":  An unknown number of illegal aliens have taken off to show that America cannot function without them.  What's going to be the effect of this?

REP. TOM TANCREDO, REPUBLICAN, COLORADO:   I think that these folks on our side of the equation, those folks who are really looking for true immigration reform are going to be bolstered by this. 

I wish this would happen in every city and state in the nation, because frankly, every time you look out there and you see it on TV, and you see the people, they're trying their best.  They got the memo that they shouldn't carry quite as many Mexican flags and Argentinean flags, but they're still doing it, the American flags upside down. 

All this stuff does not help them.  They may think so.  The most recent poll, 2-1, says they don't like this, and I'm certainly less inclined to support their cause.  From my point of view, I think they should keep it up. 

CARLSON:  I tend to agree.  What about the argument that America needs illegal aliens, illegal workers because they do jobs that Americans won't do?

TANCREDO:  Well, if they are right, then the entire economy should have come to a halt today, should it not?  All of a sudden it became just a boycott.  Then it was some sort of other protest.  I have no idea what this thing was supposed to be.  But to the extent that it was a day without illegal immigrants, let me tell you, we should be so lucky. 

If we actually did not have illegal aliens in this country, you would see all kinds of things that would be quite positive in terms of fewer people in our prison systems, fewer people accessing social services, fewer people having babies that the OB/GYN wards would be much less busy.  Emergency rooms would be much less busy. 

Most of the members of MS13, that violent gang, are illegal immigrants.  If you actually take them out of the equation for a single day, there are some positive aspects. 

Now I know what they're saying, is that hey, look, don't paint us all with that, and that most people here are hard-working people.  They're neither citizens nor are they Americans, but the reality is that we can survive this. 

Do you know this is something very few people really realize?  But we hear often about, for instance, the agricultural area: what would happen to that industry if we all of a sudden just said no more illegal immigrants?

CARLSON:  Well, the argument is it would fold up and disappear.  It would go the way of the steel industry or the shoe manufacturing sector. 

TANCREDO:  However, do you know that today this minute and has been the case now for years that H2A (the immigrant visa that allows people coming to work in the agricultural industry) is unlimited.  There are no caps.  You can bring in as many as you want. 

My point is this: If, in fact, this need arises we can fill it in the agricultural area in particular.  But the reality is that American business and our economy is dynamic.  It would change and reflect a lot of things, including it would have to reflect a higher wage rate for a lot of people. 

It is true that wages would have to go up in certain industries.  What's wrong with that?

CARLSON:  Right.  Americans would do the jobs if they got higher pay for doing it.  Finally, just sum up for me what you mean by the cult of multiculturalism.  It's a phrase you use in your new book and I'm wondering what you mean by it?

TANCREDO:  The cult of multiculturalism is a group of people that, I think, started in the late 1960's.  These were the professors and colleges that were pushing this idea of cultural relativism.

If you know Ward Churchill in Colorado and you know what he's talking about, this guy is the epitome of a member of the cult of multiculturalism.  They hate America. 

It's not just the idea of wanting to express a desire to see other people's cultures, exhibited and enjoy.  That's not it at all. 

CARLSON:  It's a loathing of our culture. 

TANCREDO:  It's a desire to hate America.  It's to put us down in order to make sure that everybody else knows that you are not biased but I'm telling you, it is destructive to America. 

We need to see that America has done a lot of things wrong.  It's true.  Western civilization has had problems. 

CARLSON:  Compare western civilization to any other civilization, and see how it rates.  Pretty well, I would say. 

TANCREDO:  Open the gates anywhere in the world.  Which way do people flee?  They flee to the west. 

CARLSON:  Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, thanks a lot.

Watch 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

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