Today, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a DHS funding bill, which included a collection of the harshest anti-immigrant amendments seen in years. The bill would not only overturn the sensible executive actions from last November, but also end the DACA program for DREAMers and maximize the deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in America.
While Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) voted against final passage of the bill and an amendment to end the 2012 DACA program, he lined up with his party on a critical amendment that tainted and defined the entire bill. The Aderholt amendment, which Coffman supported, would block the President from expanding DACA to others who came to this country at a very young age. The amendment also prevents the Department of Homeland Security from allowing individuals who have lived in the U.S. for years, raising children who are U.S. citizens, to come forward and apply for temporary immigration papers.
Now, despite Coffman’s attempt at a face-saving vote on final passage, the DHS bill moves forward to the Senate with both anti-DACA and anti-expansion provisions intact. It will be up to Colorado Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to ensure these mean-spirited provisions are gutted and replaced with responsible homeland security funding measures.
Immigration reform champion and Coffman ally, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), characterized the GOP votes this week, saying:
Only three words describe the Republican approach to immigrants: deportation, deportation, deportation. The ‘deport them all’ contingent in the Republican Party has the pen and the gavel in the House. I know the Republicans will stop at nothing, but I didn’t think they would start with everything.
“Representative Coffman may think that his split vote puts him in a moderate position, but voting to keep DACAmented youth while, at the same time, voting to deport everyone else is a bad political statement. This is a full-blown assault on immigrants and lays down the marker for the anti-immigrant, ‘self-deportation’ legislative agenda of the new Republican-controlled Congress,” said Carla Castedo Mi Familia Vota Education Fund- Colorado State Director.
Julie Gonzalez, Statewide Chair of the Colorado Latino Forum, said:
The Colorado Latino Forum is deeply frustrated by Congressman Coffman’s votes related to HR 240. These votes should serve as a warning that, while the Congressman is willing to put out bilingual statements regarding his votes as a means to try to appeal to Latino voters, he has no problem continuing to deport parents from their U.S. citizen children. Congressman Coffman’s votes demonstrate that he is willing to separate families, and underscores that he still has much to learn about his immigrant constituents throughout his district.
According to Patty Kupfer, Denver-based Managing Director of America’s Voice:
Today, Mike Coffman voted on an amendment to end the President’s executive action and released a statement saying he ‘strongly opposes’ it. He’s trying to distinguish himself as a moderate by voting to support DREAMers, but while deporting their parents and every other immigrant who has worked hard and is making this country their home. If that’s the new ‘moderate’ position on immigration, it’s just one more sign the GOP is continuing its relentless slide into anti-immigrant oblivion.