Last week nearly 15,000 Colorado Dreamers and their families breathed a huge sigh of relief when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped President Trump from ending the DACA program. Colorado’s Dreamers have just as much standing to call Colorado home as I do — yet they’ve spent years living in fear of being sent away from the only country they’ve ever known.
Dreamers are here to stay. This is a triumph. But we have so much more to do to restore humanity to our broken immigration system. Until we pass the American Dream and Promise Act into law and take action to keep families together, President Trump and his fearmongering will still hold far too much power over our communities. We need to continue to move forward by creating a permanent pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers — and we need to do it as soon as possible.
Washington has tried and failed again and again on immigration. Seven years ago we had a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive immigration reform — but Washington put politics ahead of results. Our own Senator Cory Gardner, then serving in the House of Representatives, opposed that bill. That was wrong, just wrong.
I don’t accept inaction. If elected to the Senate, I will work to pass legislation that values our immigrant neighbors not to an economic end, but as human beings looking to build a better life for their families.
I don’t accept inaction. If elected to the Senate, I will work to pass legislation that values our immigrant neighbors not to an economic end, but as human beings looking to build a better life for their families. We can secure our border without separating families and putting children in cages. We’ll better fund our immigration system to fairly adjudicate cases in a timely manner. We will strengthen refugee assistance and resettlement programs.
We also need to drastically reform ICE — the federal government should not be funding and protecting an agency that violates human and civil rights, period. We need more humanitarian and security aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and we need to stop this administration from ripping families apart.
As Governor, I signed historic legislation granting in-state tuition to Dreamers — among the first such bills in the nation — and we’ve helped hundreds of students attend college. We initiated a 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 repealed a hardline 2006 law that required local law enforcement to report people they suspected of being undocumented to ICE.
When Trump ended DACA, under my leadership Colorado joined a lawsuit to stop deportations. Senator Gardner refused to express any regret for his previous votes to block the DACA program and failed to stand up to President Trump when Colorado Dreamers needed him most. Now that we’re in an election year, he’s trying to deceive, but Coloradans know his real record and won’t be fooled.
Last week, we celebrated the 700,000 Dreamers who make our country stronger — doctors, nurses, teachers, servicemembers, and so many more. But our work is far from over. We have an opportunity to make the United States the inclusive country it was intended to be. In the U.S. Senate, I’ll build on what we’ve done in Colorado and keep fighting for our immigrant communities.
John Hickenlooper is a geologist, brewer, small business owner, former mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado. He is running for U.S. Senate.
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