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As House Republicans Gear Up to Vote on New Deportation Bill, Colorado Groups Call on Senator-Elect Gardner to Vote ‘No’

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If House Has Time for Show Vote on Subjecting Immigrants to Deportation, They Can Vote on Bipartisan Bill That Would Undo Obama Action and Provide Permanent Solution

After two years of failing to take up any attempt at meaningful immigration reform in the House, now Republicans have announced that in response to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, they’ll be voting tomorrow to undo the action. While the vote is largely symbolic as it would not pass in the US Senate, it’s a gesture that Republicans see as a way to express their anger at the President for taking steps within his authority to fix the immigration system on his own.

However, the bill is a direct attack on millions of immigrant families and DREAMers whose lives changed because of this new program and the President’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The bill set to be voted on tomorrow was introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and it would undo both the programs initiated by the President that have and will allow millions to come out of the shadows and apply for legal status and work permits.

Colorado organizations who have championed immigration reform for years are now calling on Senator-Elect Cory Gardner and his Republican colleagues in the House to vote against this bill that would result in subjecting tens of thousands of Colorado’s immigrant families to deportation.

“After years of votes to deport DREAMers and block immigration reform, Congressman Gardner tried to put on a more moderate, gentle face with regards to immigration on the campaign trail for U.S. Senate,” said Victor Galvan, a Gardner constituent and organizer with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “We will see this week if Congressman Gardner’s true colors have indeed changed or whether he will return to his old extreme pre-election positions on immigration.”

Juan Carlos de la Cruz, SEIU Local 105 Executive Board Member, said “Tens of thousands of undocumented Colorado immigrants have lived here for years, worked hard to provide for their families and do their part. With the President’s new program, they’ll finally be able to get papers and contribute more to this state that’s become their home. I can’t believe that Republicans are already trying to take this away and subject them to deportation all over again. I call on Cory Gardner and his fellow Republicans to reject this extremist bill and stand up for immigrants and their families.”

“President Obama just stepped up to begin solving a problem that Republicans have been refusing to address for years. And, he’s improved the lives of millions by taking action. If Republicans don’t like what he did, nothing is stopping them from passing the bipartisan bill sitting on their desk that would solve this problem once and for all,” said Patty Kupfer, Denver-based Managing Director of America’s Voice. “Cory Gardner has said he’s a new kind of Republican. Well, these are the same old Republican tactics to do nothing and then blame Obama. Tomorrow we’ll see whether or not he’s willing to stand up to his party and do the right thing.”

The President’s actions will strengthen Colorado’s economy and communities. The White House Council of Economic Advisors has found that the President’s executive actions will raise average wages for U.S.-born workers and reduce the federal deficit. The Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that 70,000 immigrants in Colorado will be eligible for the new programs. While many undocumented immigrants already pay taxes, others will be able to come out of the shadow economy, resulting in an estimated $180 million increase over five years in tax revenues for Colorado, according to CAP.  

New Gallup approval numbers and a growing body of polling demonstrate that President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration are overwhelmingly popular among Latino voters. The new numbers from Gallup’s weekly tracking poll show that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration have reignited his popularity among Latino voters.  The Gallup approval numbers reinforce the findings of recent Latino Decisions polling that found that 89% of Latino voters support the President’s actions and overwhelmingly oppose Republicans’ attempts to obstruct the Administration’s new plans by filing lawsuits (74%) or restricting funding (80%).