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Gardnerís silence on the protection of DACA recipients
Photo courtesy: Marco Dorado
 
By DACA Student, Marco Dorado
10/20/2020
In the wake of the Supreme Courtís decision to protect DACAmented Americans ó including some 15,000 of us who call Colorado home ó President Trump wasted no time chipping away at our newfound sense of safety. He has refused to adhere to the highest courtís ruling to reinstate the program as it was first established and even threatened to seek out an alternative avenue to end DACA, a policy that for the last seven years has opened the flood-gates of opportunity for the hundreds of thousands of Americans in waiting like myself. Across Colorado, leaders rushed to denounce Trumpís attack. But as always, Senator Cory Gardner stayed silent.

Throughout his tenure as Coloradoís Senator, Gardnerís record has been defined by silence and inaction that has failed to protect immigrant families across our state. Gardnerís limited support for DREAMers has been overshadowed by his refusal to pressure Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to do right by Coloradans. In 2019 he voted in support of President Trumpís national emergency declaration to fund a useless border wall. Worse yet, Gardner has failed to criticize the Presidentís countless attacks against immigrants and has refused to challenge inhumane treatment of immigrants at the border and in detention centers under Trumpís administration.

As a Senator, Gardner has chosen political comfort over doing what is right for immigrants and for Colorado.

Even though 88 percent of Coloradans support protections for DACA recipients, Gardner continues to prioritize his own political interests over his constituents. Colorado voters canít afford to be fooled another six years. Gardnerís cowardice to Trump is not only disgraceful, itís fundamentally at odds with who we are as Coloradans.

However, it doesnít have to be this way. Coloradans deserve better -- and this November, Colorado voters can elect a Senator who will carry our shared interests to the Halls of Congress and stand up for what is right. John Hickenlooper has committed to protecting immigrant communities as Coloradoís next Senator. He knows immigrants are integral to Coloradoís social and economic fabric, and his record proves heís willing to fight for us.

As Coloradoís governor, Hickenlooper signed consequential, bi-partisan legislation extending in-state tuition to undocumented Colorado high school graduates-- setting the stage for other states to follow Coloradoís lead. This policy changed the trajectory of my life and continues to have a positive impact on our friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I know that unlike Gardner, Hickenlooper refuses to be silent and as a Senator, will be a vocal advocate for the immigrant community.

His priorities include passing the American Dream and Promise Act, a bill that will keep families together and provide a pathway to permanent citizenship for DACA recipients. Hickenlooper also supports fundamentally reforming ICE because he understands that it is impossible for immigrants to feel safe in a country that funds an organization that consistently violates human rights. I have confidence that Hickenlooper will fight for an immigration system defined by justice -- one that prioritizes protection instead of family separation, detainment, and deportation Ė and will fight for fair policies that honor the immense contributions of immigrants to our state.

At a time when our elected leaders in Washington are failing us, immigrants have been abandoned in detention centers, and our country is witnessing a historic fight for racial justice. We live in a divided country, but it doesnít have to be this way.

Hickenlooper will be a champion of unity. As Senator, John Hickenlooper will value and serve all Coloradans, including the 15,000 DACA recipients and our families who call our state home.

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