Congressmen get in fight, spew racial epithets

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Published: Friday March 17, 2006

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Congressional debate about immigration has gotten ugly, according to Thursday's edition of Roll Call.

Excerpts from the Roll Call story follow:

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We knew immigration was a contentious issue and all, but wait until you hear the epithets that Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) hurled at Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), Congress’ chief immigration critic, after a live debate they had on CNBC Wednesday. Sneak preview: They include “bigot,” “racist” and “KKK.”

After the lunchtime show in the Cannon Rotunda ended, Gutierrez made a joke about how the “immigrant” (him, though he was born in Chicago) showed up on time while the “Gringo” (Tancredo) was late. Gutierrez told Tancredo that he had a “really ugly policy.”

The way Gutierrez’s office tells the story, Tancredo and the two aides who accompanied him followed Gutierrez to his office. Tancredo kept “following him, touching him, following him, touching him,” Gutierrez spokesman Scott Frotman said.

At that point, Gutierrez pretty much snapped. “Have you ever eaten in a restaurant?” he asked Tancredo, adding with feigned disgust, “How could you eat from the plates touched by those nasty illegal immigrants?”

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Read the full, registration-restricted story here.