Tancredo looks to reignite immigration debate

Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo may keep illegal immigration at the center of the GOP's presidential primary debate.

The former congressman sent his supporters an e-mail Wednesday saying he's "fully back in the fray" after his third-party bid for governor of Colorado failed last year.

"Now we’re getting ready to fight Barack Obama's 'backdoor amnesty' scheme, and are working with State Senator Russell Pearce to get Arizona-like laws passed in the other states and to stop the practice of giving citizenship to the babies of illegal aliens," Tancredo wrote.

Conservatives consider the Democrats' DREAM Act an amnesty program because it grants the children of illegal immigrants legal U.S. residency if they enroll in college or join the military.

Tancredo's hardline stance against allowing illegal immigrants to gain legal residency puts him at odds with at least one potential GOP White House contender.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said he supports a path to legal status for some illegal immigrants similar to the DREAM Act.

"We've got to have some sort of system of human discrimination in this country that says, for example, there's a young man in this country in Dallas who came to this country when he was three," Gingrich said Tuesday during a debate with Howard Dean at The George Washington University. "He doesn't speak Spanish. Now to say to him, gosh, you need to go back to Mexico strikes me as something that no common sense group of American neighbors would do."

Meanwhile, Tancredo said he plans to remain active in the GOP with his PAC, Team America, which he founded with conservative activist Bay Buchanan. In 2010, the PAC supported Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.).

--Updated at 3:01 p.m.

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