Immigration Advocates Pan Coffman, Gardner “Shell Games”

Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

A press release this morning from a coalition of Colorado immigration reform advocacy groups–America's Voice, Mi Familia Vota, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Colorado Latino Forum, and SEIU Local 105–calls out Colorado GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman for "play[ing] politics with young people's lives instead of pushing for meaningful comprehensive immigration reform." This would indicate that their attempt to appease immigration reform supporters by voting against legislation from House Republicans that would deport "DREAMer" immigrant students was not successful:

Have they miraculously seen the light? Well, let's look at their recent records:

· Both have voted no fewer than four times to end DACA in the last year, with the latest vote being only three months ago.
· Both voted "yes" on the rule, which allowed the anti-DACA vote to come to the floor so that all their fellow GOPers could vote to eliminate the program, even as they voted "no."
· At the same time they voted to spare DACA, Coffman and Gardner voted down two attempts by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder) and Democrats to advance HR 15, a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill that would help millions of families come out of the shadows.
· Coffman, just last week, endorsed detaining refugee children back in the countries they're trying desperately to escape.

What Latino voters are looking for now, and what they've always been looking for, are leaders who will take action on immigration reform. The idea that after 4 votes to deport DREAMers in the last year, that Coffman and Gardner have suddenly been converted three months before the election is insulting to a community that has been paying close attention to this debate for years. There's a reason why all the Republicans in the Colorado delegation received a 0 – 9% rating in last week's national immigration score card.

"Latino voters in Colorado have been a deciding factor in statewide races in 2010 and 2012 and, trust me, we can tell the difference between politicians who truly support immigrants and those who say the right thing when election time comes around," said State Representative Crisanta Duran. "Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman have had more than a year to push for real immigration reform, but they've done the opposite, blocking the best chance in decades to help millions of families. Now, they take one vote that finally acknowledges our young people shouldn't be deported and they want a gold star? It's going to take a lot more than that."

"…Latino voters know exactly who is responsible for blocking immigration reform, " said Carla Castedo, Colorado State Director for Mi Familia Vota. "Mike Coffman's one political show vote on DACA won't change his long anti-immigrant voting record." [Pols emphasis]

The national narrative about last Friday's votes in the GOP-controlled House on immigration has already taken shape: although pleasing to the "Tea Party" Republican base, this was a disastrous moment for the Republican Party's much-ballyhooed campaign to attract more Latino voters. These last-minute votes for "message" legislation supported by the GOP's harshest immigration opponents like Rep. Steve King of Iowa to address the child immigration crisis at the southern border, followed by the vote to end President Barack Obama's program deferring enforcment action against undocumented immigrant children here from before 2007, have set back the party's relations with the fastest-growing bloc of voters in the United States by years.

The votes by Gardner and Coffman against the amendment to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, after having repeatedly voted to do just that, appears to have resulted in a situation were no one is pleased. The fact is, all of these votes were symbolic–nothing the House passed Friday on immigration will ever get through the Senate, and even if it did, Obama would veto it. With that in mind, the repeated votes by Gardner and Coffman to deport DREAMer students before this vote are much more telling.

The only thing we can add to this is to note that these same immigration reform advocates honestly gave Gardner and Coffman a chance to do right by them–even to the point of upsetting coalition partners more directly invested in defeating these two vulnerable Republican lawmakers. In hindsight, they were absolutely right to engage with Gardner and Coffman, and even give them political breathing room to do the right thing. That's what you do when the issue truly matters more to you than the politics.

But today, as you can see, immigration reformers are out of patience with Republicans. And this desperate attempt at appeasement by two Colorado Republicans, who may serve as national bellwethers of the consequences awaiting the GOP for turning its back on immigration reform, will not be enough.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    So Latinos aren't falling for it?  Guess it isn't as easy to fool them into voting against their own interests as it is with groups righties are used to manipulating.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      All this proves is that today's "immigration reform" groups are bought and paid for by the Democrat Party. Independent Latinos should be outraged that this huge vote by Gardner and Coffman to protect DREAM Act students is being trashed for political purposes.

      Colorado Pols: your propaganda is horrible. YOU are the ones who care more about politics than immigrants.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        So, Moddy, since you GOP guys are all about the immigrants, what do you propose we do with the horde of starving, terrified refugee children at our border?

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Among the hugest of Gardner's and Coffman's meaningless votes, no doubt !?!

        • ModeratusModeratus says:

          Their vote is making national news today. Maybe not in Democrat land, but I assure you it got noticed both inside and outside the GOP.

          No one expected Democrats to say thanks, it's an election year. But for the immigration groups to join in the attacks is sad. What friends do immigrants have that will not politicize their situation? It would take more than Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman's compassion, and reformers do themselves no favors by bashing their friends.

          • DavieDavie says:

            Don'tcha just hate it when folks won't buy your snake oil anymore?

            Oily Cory just doesn't seem to have the sales pitch down pat yet.

            But now that both Coffman and Gardner have come out as "PRO-AMNESTY", perhaps someone should buy radio time on Rosen's show :-)

            • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

              Davie- you're imputing motive and, according to the latest wingnut rules one or the other of these twits actually has to say the words( PRO-AMNESTY) or it can't possibly mean that. Moddy or AC will tell you  it has to be expressed in no uncertain terms.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            Geez, Moddy; it's kinda hard to hear all those Latino voters who you think are cheering Cory and Mike's "compassion" over the sound of the rest of the GOP screaming about "diseased, lice-ridden gang members who are invading our country".    :)    But you keep chasing that rainbow. 

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        As long as the racists and xenophobes in the Party of Lincoln (and Tancredo and Buchanan) continue to trash Latinos w/ comments like "Calves the size of cantaloupes from running drugs across the boarder," why wouldn't the Latino community align itself with the Dems?  Thank you Steven King (Racist-Iowa, not the Accused Felon-Mesa County) and Dan Patrick (the Tx Lt. Guv candidate who says they're bringing all these third world diseases into our country). 

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    What does Politifact say? That's what Pols always points to.

    SEIU said Gardner "blocked immigration reform" and "voted to deport our DREAMers." While Republicans in the House have not moved forward on immigration, Gardner himself has repeatedly advocated for his colleagues to take up the issue. There are plenty of obstacles to passing a bill in the House, but Gardner does not appear to be one of them.

    Gardner did vote for an amendment that effectively would have ended Obama’s two-year delay in deporting certain children of illegal immigrants. However, he said that was a move against Obama’s unilateral action, and not the DREAMers. Indeed, he has actually called for permanent status for children brought to the U.S. illegally, including citizenship for those who join the military.

    We rate the statement from SEIU as Mostly False.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/aug/04/service-employees-international-union-committee-po/seius-spanish-language-ad-claims-cory-gardner-bloc/

    • BlueCat says:

      Most progressives caught on to Politifact's odd way of finding true or false things only mostly and mostly trues mostly false and vice versa a long time ago. You're dreaming if you think the people who matter, Latino voters, are parsing it the way Politifact is. Most Latinos, outside of Cubans who are irrelevant to Colorado politics, view the GOTP party line as very nasty and bigoted towards them and anyone like them. For individual Republicans to do better with them you have to get your loudest media voices to shut up about diseased, criminal children.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Actually things are even changing in the Cuban community.  Obama ran fairly well amongst Cuban-Americans in Florida in '12.  You're right, it's irrelevant to CO, but it does make FL easier for a Dem to carry in the future.

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        So you're saying Politifact is wrong? Will you say that next time they agree with you?

        • DavieDavie says:

          I believe BC is saying for a site that is supposed to be staffed by impartial skeptics, they appear to be self-serving cynics.

          You can look up the definitions as I doubt you know the difference.

        • BlueCat says:

          I'm basically saying, modster dear… so what? You aren't going to get your media star bigots to shut up. That's what gets through, not parsing.

        • BlueCat says:

          Stuff like this. Bear in mind nobody's ever contracted Ebola in central America so you've really got to go way out of your way to suggest the following and why would you except to enflame bigotry?

          A Republican congressman suggested Monday that some of the unaccompanied children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America may have Ebola.

          Appearing on WIBC's The Garrison Show, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said he and other members of Indiana's congressional delegation, including heart surgeon Rep.Larry Buschon (R), sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for more information about the 245 migrant children who had been released to Indiana sponsors this year.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Gardner – Can you hear them now? From CBS reporting on the June 29 occupation of Gardner's office in Greeley:

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