[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Tancredo: Miami is Third World (UPDATED)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tancredo: Miami is Third World (UPDATED)

At least that's what Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo thinks.

Was Rep. Tancredo referring to Miami's problems with corruption and inefficient government? Was he referring to those living below the poverty line? If so, he wouldn't get much of a reasonable argument.

No. He was referring to the large number of immigrants that make up South Florida.

At first, Rep. Tancredo pinned Miami's third-world status on crime statistics.
Tancredo, who chairs the bipartisan House Immigration Reform Caucus and championed a fence along the border with Mexico, said Monday in an e-mail sent by his office that his comparison was based on crime statistics he believes ``are deeply rooted in the immigration debate.
If crime was indeed the defining factor for third-world status, then where do cities such as St. Louis and Detroit fall - fourth-world? Let's not even ask Tancredo why he feels those cities have such high crime rates, higher than Miami's.

Then, he got to the real reason:
''Moreover, the sheer size and number of ethnic enclaves devoid of any English and dominated by foreign cultures is widespread,'' Tancredo said in the statement. "Frankly, many of these areas could have been located in another country. And until America gets serious about demanding assimilation, this problem will continue to spread.''
I'm sure many in South Florida will wholeheartedly agree with Tancredo, their civic pride swelling to all-time highs.

South Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, while perhaps overstating things a bit, still deserves credit for countering Tancredo's comments:
Miami, Ros-Lehtinen said, is a ``world class city where diversity is celebrated. Here people have the opportunity to meet folks from across the globe and honor different cultures. Miami-Dade County is home to many outstanding universities, is headquarters to international businesses and has a vibrant economy.''
While it does bother me that someone would dismiss Miami as a third-world region without doing some serious analysis, it's especially disturbing that a congressman would use immigration as a way to slight a community. This is someone that is very outspoken against illegal immigration, and while that indeed needs to be addressed, you can't throw out the baby with the bath water.

As a product of immigrants and of Miami, I find Tancredo to be seriously out of touch and out of his league when it comes to immigration and assimilation. Look around. It shouldn't be hard to see daily examples of immigrants who have assimilated and have made positive contributions. What's occuring in Miami has occurred over and over throughout our nation's history. We are the latest region to experience mass migration and all the issues that come with it. But Trancredo's implication that immigrants do more harm than good is, at best, ignorant and, at worst, racist. He's an embarrassment to the Republican Party.

UPDATE: I missed this post from a while back, but Josue nails it on the head regarding immigration and assimilation. Perhaps we should send the link to Rep. Tancredo. What do you all think?


Blogger Adam said...

I think you could make this judgement simply on the quality of the drivers here.

10:01 AM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger Alex said...

Ugh, enough with the BS about the drivers already. Bad driving happens everywhere. I don't find Miami drivers any better or worse than any other major city. Try renting a car in Boston.

10:14 AM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Or how about parts of Europe? Madrid drivers are insane...makes us look tame by comparison. Yet no one with a functioning brain cell would consider Madrid to be a third world city.

1:59 PM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger Alex said...

ANYWHERE in Europe. And driving in Mexico City, that is taking your life in your hands.

6:25 PM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger Josue Sierra said...

Thanks for the link Robert.

3:55 PM, November 29, 2006  

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