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November 12, 2013 11:43 AM UTC

What specific border measures would allow Coffman to support citizenship path?

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Over the weekend, The Denver Post's Allison Sherry reported Rep. Mike Coffman's position, as Coffman has said before, that undocumented adults should be given the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship, but only when the U.S. has an “independently verified secure border.”

It’s fair enough to report that Coffman claims to favor citizenship with conditions. But if a reporter like Sherry is going to take Coffman at his word, she owes it to us to report more details on what an “independently verified secure border” means to Coffman.

To her credit, Sherry did report that Coffman does not support the immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate that would beef up border security. Sherry reported:

The Senate bill, which no Colorado House Republican supports, commits $38 billion on border security — 20,000 new agents, 700 miles of new fencing, expensive technology such as drones and infrared cameras. [BigMedia emphasis]

Sherry could easily have asked Coffman what security he wants? Another 10,000 agents? Ten billion dollars more? With respect to verification, Coffman wrote in a Denver Post op-ed that he wants the border certified by "experts outside of the executive branch." Who is Coffman thinking of?

And if Coffman won't provide more details, a journalist could report his non-response.

Or a reporter might conclude that, until Coffman releases more details, it's more fair to say he really doesn't support citizenship for undocumented adults.

After interviewing Coffman about his immigration position in Sept. (Two months after Coffman's Post op-ed appeared.) and trying to understand his position on citizenship, The Post’s Tim Hoover, for example, concluded that Coffman “favors legal residency, but not citizenship, for adult illegal immigrants.”

The importance of providing specific information for the public become obvious when you contrast Coffman's immigration position with his opponent's.

Like Coffman, Democrat Andrew Romanoff says he supports "comprehensive immigration reform" and a path to citizenship. The difference is, Romanoff supports a specific plan, the bill already approved by the Senate.

Coffman doesn't support the Senate bill, but holds up no specific plan of his own, even though he says he supports "comprehensive immigration reform," like Romanoff does.

The public would be forgiven for not seeing much difference between Coffman and Romanoff on this issue because, without more details on what Coffman's thinking, their positions sound close to identical.

And maybe they are similar, but we're all in the dark unless reporters do their job and tell us what Coffman is thinking with enough specificity to make his broad rhetoric meaningful. Then his constituents will be able to make up their own minds.


10 thoughts on “What specific border measures would allow Coffman to support citizenship path?

  1. Of course no border will ever be absolutely secure so it's a meaningless answer. Kind of like there will always be terror so that "war" will never be over enough to get our rights back. 

        1. The way I put it is like this Bluecat: "Secure the Border" is generally just used as meaningless cliche by polticians who are too lazy/scared to wrestle with the difficulties of the immigration issue.  If a "first" is included with the quote, the generally becomes an almost universally.  

  2. When has Coffman ever stood his ground (whether logical or not) when he didn't fear the "possibility" of not being re-elected?  He may be better off personally getting his ass handed to him by Romanoff, and then getting some cushy gig on K Street (like all the other sleazebags in DC).

  3. Coffman's position on immigration reform is like his position on health care reform.  He doesn't like the plans that have passed, but has no alternative to offer. 

    Worse than worthless.

  4. border security, along the Mexican border, right now rivals the Berlin Wall. Anybody ever been to Checkpoint Charlie? The stories there, and throughout western Europe, of what lengths people will go to to escape poverty are what we can look forward to when that wall eventually is removed

  5. The Denver Post article by Sherry also contained bad news for Scott Tipton – at the Pueblo town hall November 7, he resolutely refused to take any real position on immigration, other than saying that he wants a "compassionate"solution, and, like Coffman, wants to secure the border first.

    Republican voters, on the other hand, like all voters, want a path to citizenship, and secure borders. Tipton does not want a path to citizenship. He changes the topic, claims he wants new immigrants to "get in line" behind legal immigrants. (news flash: the proposed path to citizenship takes 13 years. That's a long line).

    Tipton is out of step with what his constituents want. That's good news for Dems.


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