John King misleads about Tancredo and mass deportations at CNN 6/13/11 GOP debate (immigration)

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At tonight's GOP debate, John King of CNN made a misleading claim about Tom Tancredo:

I want to do one more on this issue. President Bush and Senator McCain spent a lot of time on this, Mr. Speaker. I want your view. There are an estimated maybe 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. People have different numbers. If you were going to round them all up - Congressman Tom Tancredo on this stage four years ago would have said round them up and kick them up, they broke the law, they shouldn’t be here. I don’t know where the money would come from in this environment.

1. King is perhaps thinking of the bogus Center for American Progress study that - using a ludicrous methodology - claimed it would cost "at least $206 billion over five years" to deport all illegal aliens in the U.S. See the link for the fantastical way they were able to obtain that figure.

2. But, the first point doesn't really matter because King is misleading about Tancredo's positions. For the facts, see the July 3, 2007 Des Moines Register article "Tancredo: It's possible to deport 12 million/But it would be better to fight illegal immigration by pressuring employers and securing the border, the Republican says" ( It makes clear that Tancredo would not have said what John King thinks he would have said. Compare the following to what John King made up:

Republican presidential contender Tom Tancredo on Monday said "it's not impossible" to deport the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.

Such action would take years and would be difficult but could be accomplished, he said.

The Colorado congressman, however, argued that tougher border security and a crackdown on employers would reduce the need for mass deportations and encourage such immigrants to return to their native countries willingly.

"It's attrition through enforcement," he said.

Tancredo described his views on illegal immigration and other issues during a meeting with Des Moines Register editors and reporters.

Send a message to @JohnKingCNN with your thoughts.