Presidential Candidate Tom Tancredo Criticized for Hunting Mexicans from Air

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., was criticized by both human rights and sportsmen’s groups today for sponsoring an airborne hunt of suspected Mexican immigrants along the Arizona border.

“This is a despicable act unworthy of a free society and allows his quarry no cover, depriving this so-called ‘hunt’ of any true sporting quality,” said a joint statement by Amnesty International and the Alliance of Southwest Rod and Gun Clubs.

Tancredo, a longstanding opponent of unfettered immigration and an avid hunter, took a party of four other members of the congressional immigration caucus aboard a twin-engine airplane from which they bore down on flocks of Mexicans along the border.

“I was able to bag an older male leading a group of females just north of the border. He dove for the bush and, despite what these critics say, it’s hard to hold the scope steady at that distance. It must have taken four shots before I caught him in the leg,” Tancredo said.

Another congressman along for the hunt complained that a combination of record high temperatures and increased patrols by the Department of Homeland Security had driven the game too far south for a legal hunt.

“Frankly, development had put such a stress on the native Mexican population that we might consider a moratorium to allow the herd to repopulate before trying this again,” the congressman said, speaking on condition of anonymity until Arizona’s homicide statutes are clarified.

The hunt triggered anger by human rights advocates, who called it inhumane, and hunting organizations who have long been divided over airborne hunting ever since the Eskimo population was destroyed by a congressional hunting trip in the Aleutian Islands three decades ago.

“Can you imagine the horror of a destitute family crossing a border only to be fired on from above, then watching as the slain are field cleaned and their pelts taken?” the joint statement reads. “We have no reason to believe that Mr. Tancredo will keep his word that he is only going to take enough to resupply his freezer.”

Tancredo rejected the criticism, saying he always eats his kill and that sound immigration and land management practices both dictate that the herd of Mexicans fleeing poverty for low-wage jobs must be thinned.

“They’d probably just starve to death in the winter,” he said.