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Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on speeches given by the U.S. Representative from Colorado, Tom Tancredo, before the U.S. House regarding immigration that have been posted from time to time in Immigration Daily.

Mr. Tancredo leaves no room for doubt that he is anti-immigrant and that believes that the INS is an agency incapable of managing its responsibility.

On March 19, Rep. Tancredo said this about the INS Commissioner, Mr. Ziglar, “I will say that he [Mr. Ziglar] is in water way over his head; that he is not really capable to do what we have asked him to do…..Perhaps the fact [is] that we brought him from a position that has nothing to do with immigration………[that he has] no background in the area……[that] he came to this position after having served as the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper for the Senate”. Why would the latter deter from qualification?

The office of Sergeant at Arms carries much responsibility and in tradition goes back to English parliamentary procedure (which Mr. Tancred should know as a former civics school teacher). The Senate Sergeant at Arms serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer and is the principal administrative manager in the Senate. He assures that the whole Senate functions smoothly. He has the largest staff and budget in the Senate. It is an important management position.

Appointed as Commissioner just one month before the Sept. 11th tragedy and with approximately seven months now in office, it is too soon to tell whether Mr. Ziglar will do a good job or not as the ISN Commissioner. I hope his administrative abilities will serve him well in his assignment and wish him success.

As for other qualifications, I reviewed his biographical resume and it states that he has had 23 years of experience as an investment banker and lawyer; that he served as Managing Director of Paine Webber Incorporated (one of the largest financial services in the world), and Managing Director of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. He is a member of four bar associations; has held numerous positions of responsibility in the federal government (Interior and Justice departments); and has served on the boards of directors of numerous national foundations and associations. The office of INS Commissioner is a management position and Mr. Ziglar’s resume demonstrates that he is capable and has extensive background in this area. Has Mr. Tancredo ever checked this?

I have read the address that Mr. Ziglar gave before the National Press Club recently and I was impressed here too (NPA Archives-James Ziglar, 2/19/02).

Mr. Ziglar was nominated for Commissioner by the President of the United States and was approved by the U.S. Senate. The American Immigration Lawyers Association welcomed that approval.

A review of Rep. Tancredo’s biography (Tom Tancredo – Home Page) reveals that he received a degree in political science from the University of Northern Colorado, taught civics at a junior high school, served in the local State Legislature for four years, was a regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education for twelve years and was elected to the U.S. Congress as representative of the Colorado Sixth District in 1998. While in Congress his resume states that he has garnered various awards.

He has been quoted: “Anytime three or more are gathered together, I will make a speech,” which he does frequently.

Richard E. Baer, D.V.M.