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Reps. Gardner and Coffman Vote Against DREAMers Yet Again

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Instead of Pushing for an Immigration Reform that the Majority of Coloradans Support, Colorado Republicans All SupportAnother Extremist Measure from Fringe Congressman Steve King (R-IA)

Denver, CO – While House Republicans continue to trot out weak excuses for not putting a bipartisan immigration reform bill to a vote, they have found time and support on yet another anti-immigrant amendment from fringe Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who believes most DREAMers are drug-runners with ‘calves the size of cantaloupes.’

Today, all four Republican House members for Colorado, including Rep. Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman, candidates in two of the most competitive races in the country, voted in support of King’s extremist agenda. King’s amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill would require the Department of Justice to “investigate” the Department of Homeland Security’s use of prosecutorial discretion toward certain immigrants, including beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (the June 2012 Obama Administration announcement that protected from deportation and provided work permits to DREAMers).

Nine Republicans, many of them from western districts with growing Latino populations, voted against the measure, but none of the Colorado Republicans were among them.  Last June, the House passed a Steve King amendment, which Coffman and Gardner also supported, to defund the DACA program and subject DREAMers to deportation.  And earlier this year, Colorado Republicans voted yes on similar measures to strip the President’s executive authority to stay the deportations of DREAMers and relatives of military servicemen and women. At no point have either Coffman or Gardner stood up to Republican leaders, John Boehner and Eric Cantor, who are clearly standing in the way of an immigration reform vote.

Carla Castedo, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund’s Colorado State Director said:

As the clock ticks with no resolution on a fair immigration reform, we see that our GOP elected officials in Colorado continue to turn their back on us and instead of getting good legislation up for a vote, they choose to attack our immigrant community. Mike Coffman’s vote today points out the true disconnect between the people he represents, what he says, and what he actually does.

As if these amendments weren’t bad enough, Steve King somehow one-upped himself at a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, calling DACA, “Deferred Action for Criminal Aliens.”  Do Gardner and Coffman also think that young immigrants with work permits are criminals? All we know is that their voting records are clear – every chance they had to stand up for DREAMers they sided with Steve King.

“Rep. Coffman with the rest of the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives have proven what they stand for and where their loyalties lie – with Steve King and his nativists allies.  They have shown they care more about appeasing the minority of Republican extremists than about keeping my family together,” said Cruz Torres, Aurora resident and DACA recipient.  “With the President’s announcement of his deportation review delay and Rep. Coffman and House Republicans continual demonstrations of their inability to govern, it’s immigrants like me  and our families that pay the price. We see the devastation of this inaction every day as we work in communities across Colorado.”

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

Does Cory Gardner really want to introduce himself to Latino voters across the state as the guy who voted against DREAMers four times already this year? And the guy who’s colluding with John Boehner and Eric Cantor to block a vote on bipartisan immigration reform? His reputation will soon proceed him among the fastest growing group of voters in Colorado.

“Today Mike Coffman can no longer deny his hypocrisy on immigration reform after voting for such a horrible amendment against DREAMers. His actions speak louder than his words,” said Becky Torres, SEIU Local 105 member and longtime Aurora voter.