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Coffman Reveals He Has Zero Interest in Solving Immigration Issue, Making Executive Action from President the Only Solution
Rep. Mike Coffman (R,CO-06) has spent the last year walking back his once declared support for immigration reform. His primary strategy for distracting voters on his flip flop has been to say that Congress should take a “step by step” approach and then to tout his authorship of a bill that would allow DREAMers who serve in the military to earn citizenship.
Now, in a new video, where Rep. Coffman is confronted by local DREAMer Alex Alvarado, a DACA recipient and student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Coffman exposes his own failure on immigration. He appears confused as to how a bill even becomes a law, saying he “hope(s)” his bill comes up, as if he has no role to play as the original sponsor.
The full exchange, which took place at a recent visit to Mi Pueblo Market in Aurora, was caught on video here. A transcript with key excerpt follows below:
Alvarado: Congressman Coffman, my name is Alex. I’m a DREAMer! Nice to meet you. So my understanding is that you were in favor of military DREAMers. What happened with that? It’s been over a year now..
Coffman: Well uh..I hope that it comes up..
Alvarado: Is there any way that you could bring it up?
Coffman: Well uh..we’re gonna try and uh..bring it up in the Armed Services Committee..
Alvarado: So what’s the next step? Is there a timeline? Is there any way you can present it in the House?
Coffman: We’re gonna be going back next month and see what we can do.
Yes, Mike Coffman. We’ll see what you can do. We’re not holding our breath.
In reaction to his exchange with Rep. Coffman, Alex Alvarado said:
I was really confused when Rep. Coffman said he ‘hoped’ his bill might come up. I’m not a citizen yet, but even I know that’s now how it works in Congress. You don’t sit around and hope that your legislation gets passed, you stand up and do something about it.
It makes me really frustrated to hear Coffman going around saying he’s a supporter of immigrants because his voting record shows that now he’s just trying to fool people on this topic. He’s stood in the way of immigration reform and voted to subject DREAMers to deportation. And, now, when it comes to his own bill he’s supposedly championing to help a small number of immigrants, that’s a farce, too.
Cesar Vargas, Co-Director of DRM Action Coalition and aspiring military DREAMer, has worked with Coffman in the past on his legislation. Vargas responded:
If he won’t fight hard for his own legislation and his support to allow Dreamers to serve in the military, how can he be the champion of anything else? Coffman’s refusal to challenge his own party’s extreme nativism is a clear indication he is using Dreamers just for political games without doing the hard work. The people of CD-6 will not tolerate empty rhetoric and want to see real leadership in Washington, and right now, with Congress incapable of even the simplest forms of governance. Our only hope on immigration rests inside the White House. Since Mike Coffman was incapable of getting his own party to support his legislation, it’s time he agrees that the President should act administratively to allow us to serve.
Immigration groups will now be mounting a campaign to call on Mike Coffman to support President Obama using his executive authority to allow immigrants to serve in the military. If he truly stands by his statement that — “These are talented, hardworking DREAMers who will strengthen our military, boost our national security, and enhance our military readiness” – then, he should have no problem with Obama ensuring these talented young people don’t have to wait years to enlist, while Republicans vote to have them deported.