(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
One of the ways Rep. Mike Coffman has been trying to boost his appeal to Hispanic voters is by waving around his legislation offering a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, if they enlist in the U.S. military.
Coffman’s been talking a lot about his bill, which stipulates that, before being accepted by the U.S. military, undocumented immigrants should be screened and possess documents obtained through the President Obama’s “deferred action” program, established through executive order.
Under Obama’s order, law-abiding undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, are issued work permits, and their deportation from the U.S. is officially deferred.
But in June, Coffman voted to defund Obama’s deferred-action program, potentially undermining Coffman’s own bill.
This inconsistency went unnoticed, as far as I can tell, until yesterday, when the Aurora Sentinel’s Aaron Cole pointed out in a news story:
In June 2013, Coffman voted alongside other House Republicans to defund a key program in the Obama administration’s plan for young immigrants. Coffman joined Colorado and House Republicans in voting to lift the executive order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. Coffman’s plan for military service as a path to citizenship for enlisted military members relies first on the applicant to receive DACA status.
“I think that what the president … did exceeded the boundaries of the Constitution,” Coffman said. “These things have no basis in law and the President doesn’t have the ability to legislate.”
As one of the most endangered members of Congress, Coffman has been under scrutiny by local and national reporters. But until yesterday, no journalist, including me, apparently noticed that if Coffman had his way and Obama’s deferred-action program was eliminated, Coffman’s proposed law couldn’t be implemented.
Kudos to the Aurora Sentinel for its scoop on this.