Comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue. Seven years ago, we had a bipartisan agreement on immigration and border security — but, as usual, Washington put politics ahead of results. Only in Congress could politicians fail to do anything on a subject where they had agreement.
President Trump has made matters worse by creating a humanitarian crisis at our southern border — separating children from their families and placing them in cages, allowing legitimate claims for asylum to go unheard, and using humanitarian aid for the Northern Triangle as a bargaining chip. His administration is wasting tens of billions of dollars on an ineffective border wall and the deportation of law-abiding, long-term residents. The broken immigration system is hurting our economy and creating a culture of fear that makes all Americans less safe. By supporting President Trump’s policies, Senator Gardner is making our problems worse.
As Governor, I took decisive action to address our immigration challenges while keeping Coloradans safe. I signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to DREAMers — one of the first such bills in the nation. I initiated a new program to make our roads safer by granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, which makes it easier for people to have car insurance and pass the same safe driving tests required of everyone else. And I actively opposed Trump’s horrific decision to end DACA.
Meanwhile, in Washington, when we were on the cusp of passing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, Senator Gardner opposed it and helped block its passage in the House. We had a bipartisan agreement on both immigration and border security, but, as usual, Washington put politics ahead of results.
We need to adequately fund our current immigration system so that lawyers, interpreters, and judges can provide timely and fair adjudication for the nearly one million pending cases. We need to immediately establish processing centers for families at our southern border and fully restore humanitarian and security aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Finally, we must provide overdue refugee assistance and access to medical services for immigrant families.
In the long term, our country will be more secure if we enact common-sense immigration reform that achieves the dual objective of creating a pathway to citizenship while ensuring border security and protecting American workers. It is within the power of the U.S. Senate to act on this issue and requires political will that Senator Gardner has seemed to be unable to muster.
If elected to the Senate, I am committed to reversing the Trump Administration’s harmful immigration agenda and helping to restore humanity to a broken system.