Back in September of 2017, Rep. Mike Coffman made a statement to Real Clear Politics about immigration reform and President Donald Trump they we felt pretty sure would come back to haunt him:
“He’s got the credibility in terms of being tough on immigration and I think he’s the only one, probably, within the Republican Party that can solve this issue,” Coffman said. [Pols emphasis]
Let’s be clear about this–Rep. Mike Coffman, frequently held up as a “moderate” on the issue of immigration after dramatically changing his own position in recent years, said last fall that Donald Trump is “the only one” within the Republican Party who can solve the vexing issue of immigration.
Headlines from this weekend are making this statement more than a little problematic for Rep. Coffman, as the New York Times reports today:
President Trump declared on Monday that a plan to protect young immigrants from deportation is “dead” and repeated his calls for Mexico to enforce border security laws and prevent immigrants from coming to the United States illegally…
Mr. Trump’s declaration that “DACA is dead” is a reference to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The president’s position on the program is a moving target. Mr. Trump ended the program last year, but courts have blocked his decision. He also has said that he would sign a bipartisan proposal to protect the young immigrants, but he regularly threatens Democrats that there will be no deal.
In response, Rep. Coffman is somewhat less full of praise for Trump:
The Presidents DACA announcement couldn’t have come at a worst time. Easter is a day for many to rejoice and come together— not to put more anxiety on young people. It’s time for Members on both sides of the aisle to join forces and find a permanent solution for DACA recipients.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) April 2, 2018
The problem for Rep. Coffman as he calls out strongly for a “permanent solution for DACA recipients” is he is nearly a month overdue on his promise to force a vote on a temporary solution for DACA recipients, the so-called BRIDGE Act Coffman sponsored last year as a stopgap measure, threatened to force to a vote with a discharge petition, then sheepishly abandoned after House Speaker Paul Ryan tapped him on the proverbial shoulder. At this point, Coffman is completely sidelined in the debate over immigration in Washington despite having garnered a wealth of–as it turns out undeserved–positive press.
Today, we’re pretty sure nobody in their right mind would say that Trump is the nation’s savior on immigration. Certainly nobody who wants to have credibility on the issue.