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Immigrants beware

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Last week, we reported that President Bush was mulling over Bill McCollum as the country's next drug czar. If that job falls through, however, it doesn't mean McCollum will have to leave the Beltway. The insider publication Roll Call recently reported that our former congressman was also on the short list to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- quite the scary prospect.

In 1996, the opportunistic McCollum -- while riding a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment -- co-sponsored a bill allowing the immediate deportation of any immigrant who had ever committed a felony, even those who committed petty crimes, such as shoplifting, some 20 years ago. What's more, it was retroactive, and didn't allow so much as an appeal.

During his failed bid for the Senate, McCollum realized he had gone too far, and he authored an amendment to rescind the retroactive component. Too little, too late, apparently: Texas' xenophobic Sen. Phil Gramm killed McCollum's amendment, leaving McCollum's nastiest legacy intact.


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