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Could Immigration Split the Tea Party? | The Nation

Could Immigration Split the Tea Party?

With the Tea Party movement gaining political clout, the question arises: what issue can divide them? Guest-hosting the Rachel Maddow Show, Chris Hayes reports that immigration may be the key to splitting the Tea Party, and potentially, the Republican base. Earlier on Charlie Rose, Dick Armey, former Republican House Majority Leader and current head of Freedom Works, critiqued former Congressman and anti-immigrant activist Tom Tancredo for advocating a voter literacy test.

"I was, for example, not really happy to see Tom Tancredo on the stage calling himself a tea party guy because of his harsh and uncharitable and mean-spirited attitude on the immigration issue," said Armey.

Joining Hayes is Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, a grassroots advocacy group that focuses on policies affecting low-income people and people of color. As Bhargava explains, anti-immigrant activists have attempted to find support in the party, while Obama stresses immigration reform and Republicans lose support with anti-immigrant platforms. "It's no surprise that [anti-immigrant activists] are looking to get on the Tea Party bandwagon," says Bhargava. "But I don't think that's going to work because it's going to divide the base of that movement."

--Clarissa Leon

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