Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), now running for Senate in a state where the electorate is 13% Latino, has been saying a lot of nice things about immigration reform. Immigration reform has consistently been a top priority for Colorado’s Latino voters, and so Gardner has been going around claiming that he supports reform and has taken actions to further legislation. And that is just not true. It’s so not true that America’s Voice once ran ads letting voters know that Gardner has done nothing for immigration reform. Quite the opposite: he’s blocked legislation and voted to deport DREAMers. Three times.
At Huffington Post today, Jason Salzman has a post making many of these same arguments. Salzman is a former Rocky Mountain News Media Critic and now works for BigMedia.org, which aims to hold journalists to their professional standards. And he has a problem with how the media haven’t been calling Gardner out for pretending to support immigration reform. You can read his piece in full below — or at the Huffington Post here.
Colorado senatorial candidate Rep. Cory Gardner continues to misrepresent his record on immigration, and reporters have failed to call him out on it.
During an Oct. 6 debate, Gardner was asked if he’d vote for the DREAM Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the U.S. military.
Instead of answering the question, Gardner used the dodge tactic of stating hisopinion on what will happen to the DREAM Act.
“Ultimately, I think the Dream Act will be part of the solution of immigration reform,” Gardner said. “It has to be. Look, I believe in immigration reform.”
If Gardner had answered the question, instead of predicting the future, he’d have said that he’s long opposed the Dream Act.
Gardner: “I don’t think we should give unfair advantages to people not in the country legally,” Gardner told the Fort Collins Coloradoan in 2012, referring to the Dream Act.
Gardner: “I think if you pass the DREAM Act today, you’re still not fixing the problem,’ Gardner told the Boulder Daily Camera last year, echoing comments opposing the Dream Act that he made to the Ft. Collins Coloradoan the year before. “I want to create a fair system so people who want to be here legally can be here legally.”
Last year, Gardner even opposed a proposed state law, so-called ASSET, to grant in-state tuition for young immigrants in Colorado.
Gardner: “But we can’t start putting in place in-state tuition, whether it’s other things that are being placed by the states, without actually addressing the root problem that will only continue more illegal immigration into this country,” Gardner told KNUS’ Steve Kelly last year.” And so, that’s why we’ve got to have a policy that actually works, and I believe it starts with border security.”
On this very day, as I type this blog post, Gardner’s website states that the Congressman opposes “giving those people [who are here illegally] benefits that will only encourage more illegal immigration.”
In a similar vein, Gardner, who’s running against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, likes to say, “I strongly support immigration reform.”
But Gardner was one of 30 House Republicans who openly opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s immigration principles, intended to begin the embryonic stage of the process of moving immigration legislation out of the House.
Asked directly by Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols if he went to House Speaker Boehner and urged him to move the bipartisan Senate immigration bill or some other bill, Gardner again did not answer the question, saying that the Senate doesn’t have a “monopoly of good ideas.”
If he’d answered the question, he’d have said that he joined House Republicans in blocking Boehner and thereby ending hope for immigration reform last year.
Denver Post’s Joey Bunch reported last week that Gardner has “long held he doesn’t support providing amnesty to those here illegally.”
Reporters need to pin Gardner down on what he supports now and what he’s done about it. Otherwise, he gets to present himself as if he’s for reform while he done nothing to advance reform.