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Polis, other Colorado Dems blast Trump order calling for Mexican border wall

January 26, 2017, 10:22 am
border wall Tijuana

A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector. Wiki Commons photo.

Colorado Democrats and the head of the state’s foremost environmental group Wednesday lambasted the Trump administration for moving ahead with a projected $25 billion border wall with Mexico that at least initially will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, a direct contradiction of President Donald Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for the wall to stem illegal immigration.
Mexico is the second largest trading partner for Colorado goods and services, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, importing nearly $1 billion in goods a year and accounting for more than 105,000 Colorado jobs. And the state is both a major tourism destination for Mexican travelers as well as a significant source of tourists to Mexico.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis


“Asking American taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for a fence along our southern border will not do anything to fix our broken immigration system,” said U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who also represents the Vail Valley in Congress. Polis also blasted Trump’s directive threatening to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” such as Boulder.

“Holding cities hostage by threatening to cut federal funding places an unfunded burden on local municipalities to enforce federal immigration law, and runs contrary to their constitutional rights,” Polis added. “If the president is serious about reforming our immigration system, he should begin by working with Congress to create a modern system of lawful migration that is consistent with our values and economic needs as a nation.”


Polis argues that a 2013 bipartisan immigration plan that passed the Senate but was never voted on in the House had three times the funding for border security as the Trump administration is proposing, and it would have reduced the budget deficit by nearly $200 billion over 10 years.

Pete Maysmith

Pete Maysmith

Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith also blasted Trump’s executive action on immigration.
“As an organization that does significant organizing with Latino and immigrant communities, we see firsthand how these sorts of extreme policies would impact people across the board and hurt our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. We are appalled by these announcements, which are immoral and contrary to our American values,” Maysmith said, adding the proposed 2,000-mile border wall would be an environmental disaster.

“These policies will also have major impacts on the environment, including the border wall’s destruction of one of the most unique habitats and important wildlife corridors in the American Southwest,” Maysmith said.

State lawmakers also chimed in.

“The border wall is offensive, useless and costly to our taxpayers who will have to foot the bill despite President Trump’s fantasy that the Mexican government will pay for it,” said Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora. “The marches across the country showed us that Americans reject hateful and divisive ideas and want us to work on ways to keep families together, not tear them apart.”

Some polling finds Americans fairly evenly split on building the border wall. A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 47 percent of voters support building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 45 percent oppose, which holds with results from their Sep. 2 poll, where 46 percent supported and 45 percent opposed. But other pre-election polls found a majority (60 percent) of likely voters opposed the wall.
The Politico poll, released Wednesday, found that illegal immigration was only the fourth greatest threat to America after domestic terrorism, economic collapse and international terrorism. Also, the poll found that 68 percent of voters support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they meet certain standards, compared to 25 percent who oppose, and that 72 percent of voters want to allow undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children to be able to apply for legal status.
That may explain why Trump has held off on his campaign promise to repeal Obama administration executive actions that established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that blocks deportation of undocumented students and workers who were brought here as young children.
Despite the fact that illegal immigration is currently at a 40-year low, Trump launched his campaign with an attack on Mexico and made it a constant refrain at campaign stops where he swore Mexico would pay for the wall.
Colorado state Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, blasted Trump’s action:


“Not only does President Trump want to target hard-working people who have made so many positive contributions to their communities, and tear them from their families, but he wants to build a wall the American people will most assuredly be paying for?” Guzman said. “These un-American actions run completely counter to what we as Coloradans stand for, and we will not turn our backs on our neighbors.”

Republicans in Congress are irritated that Trump continues to falsely maintain that voter fraud by millions of illegal immigrants cost him the popular vote, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, stood by the state’s election results that saw Democrat Hillary Clinton win the state by three percentage points.

“In Colorado our clerks and our judges prevent the overwhelming majority of attempts to vote that are improper,” he said. “Voter fraud is rare but it undercuts our confidence in democracy, which is why it is so critical to protect against.”

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, 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 Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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