• October 17th, 2021
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Gardner’s Silence on Protection of DACA Recipients Speaks Volumes


 

Marco Dorado

 

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to protect DACAmented Americans — including some 15,000 of us who call Colorado home — President Trump wasted no time chipping away at our newfound sense of safety. He has refused to adhere to the highest court’s ruling to reinstate the program as it was first established and even threatened to seek out an alternative avenue to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a policy that for the last seven years has opened the flood-gates of opportunity for the hundreds of thousands of Americans in waiting like myself. Across Colorado, leaders rushed to denounce Trump’s attack. But as always, Senator Cory Gardner stayed silent.

Throughout his tenure as Colorado’s Senator, Gardner’s record has been defined by silence and inaction that has failed to protect immigrant families across our state. Gardner’s limited support for DREAMers has been overshadowed by his refusal to pressure Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to do right by Coloradans. In 2019, he voted in support of President Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund a useless border wall. Worse yet, Gardner has failed to criticize the President’s countless attacks against immigrants and has refused to challenge inhumane treatment of immigrants at the border and in detention centers under Trump’s administration.

As a Senator, Gardner has chosen political comfort over doing what is right for immigrants and for Colorado.

At a time when our elected leaders in Washington are failing us, immigrants have been abandoned in detention centers, and our country is witnessing a historic fight for racial justice. We live in a divided country, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Hickenlooper will be a champion of unity.

Even though 88% of Coloradans support protections for DACA recipients, Gardner continues to prioritize his own political interests over his constituents. Colorado voters can’t afford to be fooled another six years. Gardner’s cowardice to Trump is not only disgraceful, it’s fundamentally at odds with who we are as Coloradans.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Coloradans deserve better — and this November, Colorado voters can elect a Senator who will carry our shared interests to the halls of Congress and stand up for what is right. John Hickenlooper has committed to protecting immigrant communities as Colorado’s next Senator. He knows immigrants are integral to Colorado’s social and economic fabric, and his record proves he’s willing to fight for us.

As Colorado’s governor, Hickenlooper signed consequential, bi-partisan legislation extending in-state tuition to undocumented Colorado high school graduates– setting the stage for other states to follow Colorado’s lead. This policy changed the trajectory of my life and continues to have a positive impact on our friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I know that unlike Gardner, Hickenlooper refuses to be silent and as a Senator, will be a vocal advocate for the immigrant community.

His priorities include passing the American Dream and Promise Act, a bill that will keep families together and provide a pathway to permanent citizenship for DACA recipients. Hickenlooper also supports fundamentally reforming ICE because he understands that it is impossible for immigrants to feel safe in a country that funds an organization that consistently violates human rights. I have confidence that Hickenlooper will fight for an immigration system defined by justice — one that prioritizes protection instead of family separation, detainment, and deportation – and will fight for fair policies that honor the immense contributions of immigrants to our state.

At a time when our elected leaders in Washington are failing us, immigrants have been abandoned in detention centers, and our country is witnessing a historic fight for racial justice. We live in a divided country, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Hickenlooper will be a champion of unity. As Senator, John Hickenlooper will value and serve all Coloradans, including the 15,000 DACA recipients and our families who call our state home.

 

Marco Dorado, a DACA recipient who lives in Colorado.

 

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