Illegal immigration focus of Gilchrist visit

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist visited BrookhavenTuesday during a three-day tour of Mississippi to highlight theillegal immigration issue in the upcoming federal elections and toofficially endorse Third Congressional District candidate CharlieRoss

“We need a good replacement in Congress who will representAmericans on the chaotic state of illegal immigration,” Gilchristsaid. “Mississippi immigration seems to be the number one issueover everything else, and Charlie Ross has a proactive history ofimmigration law enforcement advocacy.”

Gilchrist believes Ross, a Republican from Brandon, will helptake up the slack left by the forthcoming retirements of U.S. Rep.Tim Tancredo, of Colorado, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, ofCalifornia – both of whom took strong stances on illegalimmigration.

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“Both have announced their retirements after this term, and theyare two literal pioneers on immigration enforcement in the U.S.House,” Gilchrist said. “We have to find replacements, and Ross isone.”

Gilchrist was pleased that virtually all of the state’s ThirdCongressional District candidates claimed strong stances on illegalimmigration. The winner of the race will replace Rep. ChipPickering, who is not seeking re-election.

Gilchrist believes Ross’s legal and legislative background makeshim the best choice for the job.

“Show me the results – don’t give me rhetoric,” Gilchrist said.”Everyone says what they’re gonna do, but that’s just a campaignpromise. I can compare Charlie Ross’s proactive history. He passesthe litmus test.”

While Ross’s illegal immigration enforcement history has gainedhim Gilchrist’s support, the Minuteman founder is also impressed byRoss’s legal abilities, especially his degree from the Harvard LawSchool.

“He’s very serious about the technical implications of the law,”Gilchrist said. “I think that’s critical for any congressman,because they deal so much with writing legislation. He caninfluence the proper pieces of legislation, and he knows how to putit down in plain English, where even a dummy like me can understandit.”

Ross, who met with Gilchrist privately Monday night, said he was”honored” to have his support in the congressional race.

“I’m very proud to have his endorsement,” Ross said of his newsupporter. “He is a national leader on the subject of illegalimmigration – he’s so sought after, he goes all over thecountry.”

Before his trip to Mississippi, Gilchrist had traveled to Texasto appear with Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whom he believes is theonly presidential candidate with a clear stance on illegalimmigration. A hard stance on the issue is the most importantquality of a candidate in any race for Gilchrist, and the only onethat earns his endorsement.

Though a Republican, he said he would happily cross party linesto support the candidate with the strongest stance on theissue.

“I don’t believe in cultism, I’m not one of those who think,’Hey, you’re not a member of my party, I can’t speak to you,'”Gilchrist said. “You can work both sides of the aisle when theissue is affecting so much of the country.”

Gilchrist also praised the Mississippi Legislature for itsattempts at immigration reform, especially the Senate bill nowbeing debated in the House. The bill, which would fine employerswho hire illegal immigrants, is largely based on a similar piece oflegislation passed in Oklahoma last year.

Gilchrist was present in 2007 when Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henrysigned the bill into law.

“Oklahoma set the national standard with that bill,” Gilchristsaid. “It’s been a law for less than one year, and already theexodus of illegal immigrants out of Oklahoma has begun.”

Gilchrist constantly urges other states to follow Oklahoma’slead, because illegal immigrants are not returning to their homecountries upon leaving the Sooner State. They are fleeing toneighboring states.

“They’re going to surrounding states – Texas, Arkansas and evendown to Mississippi,” Gilchrist said. “These states are now goingto feel the pressure.”

Gilchrist said there were many issues buried inside the oneissue of illegal immigration, pointing out that it affects healthcare, education, national security, the tax system and evendomestic tranquility.

“When is the next 9-11 coming?” he asked. “With the porousborders we have, it’s only a matter of time. The Border Patroladmits that they only get one out of five illegal aliens attemptingto enter the country. For the rest, no one knows who they are,where they are or what they’re doing in this country.”

Gilchrist said his hard stance on illegal immigration stems fromone simple American cornerstone – the rule of law.

“Either we are a nation governed by rule of law, or a nationgoverned by mob rule,” he said. “If it’s mob rule, fine – let thegames begin. Then, the only ones who would obey the laws are thosegullible enough to obey them. That’s a recipe for anarchy.”