Is Illegal Immigration to be Blamed for Ellison’s Plan to Swear on Quran?


At least one Republican Congressman thinks so.

Virginia Congressman, Virgil Goode, linked Rep.-elect Keith Ellison’s plan to use the Quran in his private swearing-in ceremony, to the rise of illegal immigration in the U.S. It’s the latest twist to what’s become the most intriguing political rollercoaster of the season.

In a letter to a constituent,  the five-term Republican, who, like Ellison, represents the Fifth District in his state, said that he fears that “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran,” if “American citizens don’t wake up and adopt [my] position on immigration.”

“We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country.”

Vast majority of the estimated 12 million undocumented people in the U.S. are Latino immigrants who cross the border from Mexico, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), called Rep. Goode to apologize.

“Representative Goode’s Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office,” said CAIR government relations director, Corey Saylor, in a statement on their website. “There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry.”

Rep. Goode’s remarks are the sharpest thus far from an elected official against Ellison. Earlier this month, a firebrand conservative talk show host, Dennis Prager, said that Ellison shouldn’t be serving in the Congress, if he’s not swearing on the Bible.

But he was quickly rebuked by fellow Republicans, including Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado.

In 2004, Rep. Goode co-sponsored a bill that would designate English as the official language of the U.S., according to his website.

Ellison is not the first U.S. Representative to forgo the Christian Bible. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, who’s Jewish, famously declined to swear on the Christian Bible, opting for a Hebrew Bible. And Gov. Linda Lingle of Hawaii, also Jewish, used to the Torah in her swearing-in ceremony.