UPDATE #2: Politico reports that Rep. Mike Coffman will try to force a vote on legislation to protect DACA beneficiaries next week when Congress reconvenes:
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said Thursday he’ll attempt to force a vote on a bill that would extend protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors.
When he returns to Washington next week, Coffman said he’ll file what’s known as a “discharge petition” to force action on his proposal, known as the BRIDGE Act. If he can convince a majority of the House — 218 members — to join him, the House will be required to take up the measure later in September.
Coffman’s rarely used gambit comes amid reports that President Donald Trump may roll back an Obama-era program meant to protect undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as minors. The program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has shielded about 800,000 immigrants from deportation and provided work permits.
Coffman’s move can be expected to pick up Democratic support, but the real question is whether enough Republicans can be persuaded to go along with this to get a majority. If it does, obviously Coffman will get credit for that. But if Republican leadership holds the majority caucus together against it, it’s a futile gesture.
UPDATE: From the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR):
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed millions of immigrant young people to come forward and apply for protection from deportation and find opportunities in work and education. Most importantly, it has helped to keep families together and make young people in our community feel safe.
We are hearing that this administration is threatening to eliminate this program – a truly callous and craven move. This would force many people in our community to live in fear. We are disheartened they would even consider getting rid of DACA. Immigrants want to be able to be part of and contribute to their communities and to provide a better life for themselves and their children. It is the archaic and cruel policies that make it difficult for people to do so. We need to fix this broken system and do all we can to keep families together.
The Hill reporting–a moment many in the immigrant rights community have dreaded, hard-right anti-immigration demagogues like Tom Tancredo have demanded, and GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado wishes had never come, as word that President Donald Trump will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting hundreds of thousands of America’s most sympathy-inspiring undocumented immigrants–those who came here as children through no fault of their own–in danger of deportation.
President Trump plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “as it exists today” on Friday, Fox News reports.
Under DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children have received work permits and deferral from deportation.
According to Fox, a senior administration official told correspondent John Roberts that Trump would end the program “as early as” Friday.
The program, instituted through an executive order signed by President Obama in 2012, is facing a legal challenge from Texas and nine other states, which threatened court action to attempt to block it unless Trump rescinds DACA by Sept. 5.
We are awaiting word from local politicos on all sides, and we’ll update with statements as they come in. Rep. Coffman in particular, who once declared “the DREAM Act will be a nightmare for the American people” but did an about-face on the issue after being redistricted into a more diverse district, we assume will be as publicly displeased with this action as possible–along with some other “moderate” Republicans who have paid lip service to protecting DACA beneficiaries.
The reason is simple: although pleasing to a narrow segment of particularly vindictive Americans, stripping these kids, students, and workers of the only life they have ever known is an absolute political disaster for Republicans. Whether or not Coffman’s “Paul on the road to Damascus” conversion on immigration is legitimate or a contrived survival tactic in his new district is now irrelevant. This is an action that will define the Republican Party for years to come with the fastest-growing bloc of voters in the United States.
And Mike Coffman is a Republican. Trump is his President.