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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday signed an executive order blocking the state from using any resources “to separate children from their parents or legal guardians on the sole ground of immigration status.”
The executive order (posted below) came in reponse to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy aimed at prosecuting illegal immigrants and deterring additional illegal immigration by forcibly separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, has been demanding an end to the family separation policy as well, with numerous tweets on the topic, including this one on Thursday:
Outraged by growing number of reports of children being cruelly separated from parents. This is not who we are as a country and goes against all our deepest-held values. #FamiliesBelongTogether https://t.co/lgsnOjr3B2
— Michael Bennet (@SenBennetCO) June 15, 2018
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, tweeted this on Monday:
Our immigration system is broken & the separation of children at our southern border shows just how critical it is that Congress pass immigration reform immediately. Children should not be penalized for the actions of their parents, & that’s exactly what is happening right now.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) June 18, 2018
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat who represents part of the Vail Valley in Congress and is running for governor, tweeted this on Sunday:
This #FathersDay, I’m thinking of all fathers and especially migrant fathers who, like me, only want the best for their children – and I hope everyone can see that all fathers share the same love. A father is a father. #FamilesBelongTogether
— Rep. Jared Polis (@RepJaredPolis) June 18, 2018
Polis on Monday asked the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to answer several questions about the safety of the children in custody and the plan to reunify children and parents.
“President Trump is tearing apart families and terrorizing migrant children. His policies are immoral and not required by law. He must be stopped. It should go without saying – children should not be held as political hostages,” Polis said in a press release.
“I can’t even begin to understand the pain and confusion that migrant parents are going through, and I hope to help them get answers. They deserve to know exactly where their kids are and when will they see – or even talk to – them again. They deserve to be reunited with their children immediately.”
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican who represents part of the Vail Valley and most of the Western Slope in Congress, has not weighed in on the family-separation issue on social media.
Here’s the executive order press release from Hickenlooper:
Gov. Hickenlooper signs executive order limiting use of state resources to separate children from parents or legal guardians on sole ground of immigration status
DENVER — Monday, June 18, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed an executive order, in response to the Trump administration’s family separation policy, that keeps Colorado from using state resources to separate children from their parents or legal guardians on the sole ground of immigration status.
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s policy and practice of separating children from their parents when arriving at the southern border is offensive to our core values as Coloradans and as a country,” the executive order states. “The administration announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in the spring of 2018 resulting in family separations. The administration has recently stated that the purpose of the policy is to intimidate immigrants and deter crossings.”
The executive order directs that:
No state agency may deprive any person of services or benefits to which he or she is legally entitled because of a person’s immigration status, except as required by state or federal law.
No state agency may use any state resources, including but not limited to moneys, equipment, or personnel, for the purpose of separating any child from his or her parent or legal guardian on the sole ground that such parent or legal guardian is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.
Executive Order B 2018-008 applies only to those cases where children are being separated from parents solely based on their immigration status. It does not apply to cases where a court has determined it is in the best interest of the child for him or her to be removed from his or her parent or legal guardian, or where state officials believe a child is a victim, or is at significant risk of becoming a victim, of abuse or human trafficking. This comes after Gov. Hickenlooper sent a letter urging Congressional action to stop the administration from continuing their policy to separate children.
Polis on Monday sent out this statement responding to Hickenlooper’s executive order:
“As a parent, I’m appalled by the unprecedented human rights abuses that the Trump administration is inflicting on immigrant families and children. As governor, I will ensure that our state opposes these morally bankrupt actions of tearing families apart,” Polis said.
“Gov. Hickenlooper’s executive order is a good step forward. Colorado must not be party to horrific policies that terrorize families and needlessly separate parents from their children.”