Congressman Tancredo Statement Announcing His Candidacy for President
April 2, 2007

The history of America is the story of men and women who have devoted and sacrificed themselves to the survival and success of that idea.  Americans have fought and died for this cause in every century of our existence, and on every continent on the planet, for one purpose: to protect the gift of human liberty entrusted to us the Founders.

That gift is our birthright; its defense is our duty.

Today that idea, the idea of America itself, is under attack.  But not only by who you think.

While we fight around the world to defend our nation, we are entrenched now in a struggle here at home to define it.  The crisis of illegal immigration threatens not only our economy and our security, but our very identity - the idea of America is under attack.

Nearly 20 million illegal aliens are living in the United States today - roughly equivalent to the populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia combined.  Unlike legal immigrants, who have for more than 200 years come to be a part of our nation, illegal immigrants today come to be apart from our nation.

The great tradition of American assimilation has broken down.  The melting pot has cracked, and our Founding ideals are leaking through.

Illegal immigrants wait in no lines, pay no dues, and thus assume no responsibility for or devotion to America's founding ideals and traditional values.  They enter illegally, demand social services, refuse our language, and take our jobs, asking not what they can do for their country, only what our country can do for them.

This attitude has been tolerated and even encouraged by our political and economic elite, for reasons ranging from the misguided to the cynical to the treasonous.

Some might ask what it says about a country who cannot defend its borders.  I ask what it says about a country who chooses not to in deference to criminals loyal to another nation, and corporations loyal to none.

For too long Americans have been force-fed candidates who ignore or mock their valid concerns about the security of our borders, the enforcement of our immigration laws, and the survival of our national heritage.  That ends today.

I am running for President to give Americans a voice, to win this fight, to preserve the sacred ideals of the nation our soldiers are fighting to protect, and to succeed in this struggle for our identity and survival.

One last chance for the last, best, hope of earth