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Mother’s Day Ad in Denver Post: Why Are CO Reps. Gardner & Coffman Blocking an Immigration Vote to Keep Families Together?

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An ad running in the Mother’s Day edition of the Denver Post names Colorado House Republicans Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman as blocking immigration reform that would keep thousands of Colorado immigrant families together.

The half-page ad,  running in this Sunday’s paper, features a message from the children of longtime Colorado resident Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez:

We’re Fighting for Another Mother’s Day Together

Our mother is awaiting deportation and could be taken at any moment.  House Republicans, including Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman, are blocking immigration reform that would solve this problem.  That bill would provide the chance for parents to come forward, register, and earn citizenship.  If House Republicans don’t act, President Obama must step up to keep families like ours together.

The ad features Imelda Valenzuela Gonzalez and her three children.  Imelda, who came to the U.S. in 1999 and owns her own beauty shop in Westminster, CO, has been in deportation proceedings since 2013 after being a victim of notario fraud.

Imelda has her final immigration court date next month and her family fears that she could still be taken away from them.  Imelda’s story is unfortunately a familiar one for thousands of Colorado families who live in fear of having a mother or other family members deported, as they wait for Congress to do its job and deliver a permanent legislative solution.  Unfortunately, House Republicans like Reps. Coffman and Gardner have yet to deliver a vote on reform.  If House Republicans continue blocking reform, President Obama will have no choice, but to take action to break the gridlock and to keep families like Imelda’s together and protected from deportation. 

Tania Valenzuela, an organizer with Colorado Progressive Action who is featured in the ad campaign with her mother and siblings, said:

We have been fighting my mother’s deportation since 2009.  It has been a long, stressful, tiring fight, but we are hopeful. We are just one of the families that need immigration reform to pass in order to continue surviving and sustaining our family in this our new home country. Colorado House Republicans need to stop blocking immigration reform and Obama needs to end the separation of families. This mother’s day, I want to celebrate without a heavy heart, I want to know that the single most important person in my life will be by my side for many celebrations to come.

“We are deeply disappointed by the lack of constructive action or leadership from Congressman Gardner on immigration reform,” said Victor Galvan, a youth leader from Longmont representing CIRC Action Fund, “The devastation of families facing deportation on this Mother’s Day is an urgent crisis and we call on Congressman Gardner to push for a House vote on immigration reform immediately.”

“The House Republicans, by and large, have acted shamefully in regard to immigration reform. It is just one more example of the GOP being wildly out of touch with what the overwhelming majority of Americans want. It is time for elected officials like Gardner and Coffman to stop lazily talking about reform and lead on the issue” said Matthew McClellan, Executive Director, NCLR Action Fund.

Patty Kupfer, Managing Director of America’s Voice said:

Mothers like Imelda are the perfect example of what’s wrong with our immigration system. The lack of action from Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman on immigration is shameful. It’s resulting in thousands of Colorado families like Imelda’s living in constant fear of separation. If Gardner and Coffman want to be leaders, they must get past their party’s pathetic excuses and lead.

The ad is sponsored CIRC Action Fund, America’s Voice, Colorado Progressive Action, NCLR Action Fund, and Together Colorado Action.

The ad, viewable here, is paid for by CIRC Action Fund. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.