CBS4 reports on fascinating developments yesterday from a rally inside Rep. Cory Gardner's Greeley offices:
Dozens of immigration reform protesters packed Rep. Cory Gardner’s office calling for changes. They even brought a mariachi band.
“We have our rights. This is a public office. We’re taxpayers. We’re refusing to leave, everyone come in,” chanted the protesters…
They refused to leave until the lawmaker agreed to take action on long-debated measures that could improve the status of immigrants living in Colorado and throughout the U.S.
Here's more from the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action Fund:
As Rep. Cory Gardner has now officially won the Republican nomination for Senate in Colorado, he will have to answer across the state for his votes to deport DREAMers and his blocking the best chance in decades to pass immigration reform. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Senate passage of a bipartisan immigration bill, one that Gardner would have voted against if he had been a Senator at that time. As a House member, Gardner has been a major force in the Republican caucus that has failed to pass a common sense solution to fix the broken immigration system this year.
After a protest at his office in early June, Rep. Gardner told the AP he supports citizenship for military service, but reform supporters aren’t satisfied. Leaders from his district submitted a letter to Gardner’s office on June 11, asking him to put articulate a solution for the 11 million immigrants currently in the US, but Gardner has been silent.
So yesterday, they showed up to "occupy" Gardner's office. And that's where it gets interesting, as CBS4's report continues:
Gardner released this statement: “I remain supportive of fixing our broken immigration system. I’ve met with many groups who support immigration reform, and each conversation I have paints a more vivid picture of just how significant of an impact modernizing our immigration policy would have on families and businesses across Colorado. I will continue my efforts to convince Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor. It’s far too important of an issue for Colorado not to.”
Gardner "remains supportive" of immigration reform? Understand–this is the same Cory Gardner who helped kill the Senate's bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill the moment it arrived in the House. The same Cory Gardner who opposed the DREAM Act, who voted to deport DREAMer students, and who even objected to the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona over their much-reviled SB-1070 anti-immigrant law:
"The solution to the problem isn't for the Justice Department to file a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the Governor of Arizona for responding to a law enforcement crisis. It isn't giving amnesty to the 12-20 million illegal immigrants in this country, or giving those people benefits that will only encourage more illegal immigration. The time has come to enforce the rule of law and end illegal immigration."
Folks, is there anyone out there who seriously believes Gardner has been trying to "convince" Speaker John Boehner to take up immigration reform in the House? Because if there are, we'd like to sell you a bridge, a swamp, whatever. For anyone who knows what Gardner's actual record is on this issue, his statement to these immigration reform protesters is nothing short of preposterous.
That said, Gardner's audacious willingness to say anything to anyone is really beginning to amaze us. If it wasn't for our lazy local media, we'd be 100% certain he was headed for epic disaster. But in order for voters to be outraged, they need to understand how outrageous this all really is.