Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is unsure he and others who oppose what they call “amnesty” for illegal immigrants can stop an immigration reform bill President Bush is backing. Tancredo, a congressman from Colorado, says there is a slim chance America’s labor unions could become an ally in the fight because illegal immigrants are getting jobs in union-dominated fields.

“People don’t just stay…and work in the hotel and restaurant industry. All of a sudden they’re moving up into especially the construction trades and that begins to change the opinion of a lot of the unions,” Tancredo says. Later this week, the United States Senate is expected to begin debate on an immigration reform measure that would include some sort of “path to citizenship” for the illegal immigrants currently living here.

The Bush Administration and key Democratic and Republican leaders in congress are still negotiating over the details and Tancredo expects unions to back the expected compromise. “I would love to have the unions actually work for the interests of their own members and, more importantly in a broader context, (for) the benefit of the United States, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen,” Tancredo says.

Tancredo campaigned in Iowa this past weekend and is scheduled to speak to the Scott County Republican Women luncheon in Davenport today.