Colorado Dems says Dreamers in jeopardy as border-wall battle looms
While President Donald Trump mocked Democrats for “caving” on last weekend’s brief federal government shutdown, Colorado Democrats are still holding out hope for a deal to protect Dreamers by the new Feb. 8 deadline.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also praised lawmakers for finally getting a deal done to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) relied on by more than 9 million low-income kids and allowed by Republicans to expire last fall.
“It is good news that CHIP is now fully funded,” Hickenlooper said. “We hope and expect that DACA families will, at the least, be granted deferred action in the coming weeks, and be able to achieve some piece of mind. And a longer-term budget solution wouldn’t hurt either.”
Also last fall, Trump opted not to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects the children of immigrants from deportation and allows them to work and study here legally if they registered with the federal government and stayed out of trouble with the law.
That popular Obama administration program expires March 5, and Republicans are holding out on codifying it into law in exchange for tougher immigration enforcement and border security, including a wall along the Mexico border Trump promised that country would pay for.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has now pulled any Democratic agreement to fund a border wall in exchange for DACA off the table.
It would appear the same showdown over the same issues has now simply been pushed off until Feb. 8. Trump again mocked Schumer on Twitter on Tuesday:
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who represents part of the the Vail Valley in Congress, voted no on the continuing resolution that passed out of the House Monday:
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, explained her no vote on the continuing resolution deal that funds the federal government for a few more weeks but did not contain elements key for her support:
“We urgently need funding to address the opioid crisis and disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where funding could make the difference between life and death for some of the most vulnerable among us.
“There are nearly 800,000 Dreamers who could be deported in March if Congress doesn’t act. Many of the Dreamers live right here in Colorado, and they are a vital part of our communities. Despite many promises, Republicans have done nothing to protect them.
“The GOP cannot continue to fund the government 3 or 4 weeks at a time — it is legislative malpractice. With the Republicans controlling the White House, the Senate and the House, that is no one’s fault but their own.
“While I voted against the stopgap spending bill, it passed in the House — so now we have three more weeks of funding and three more weeks of fighting back.”
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David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.