DENVER — Congressman Mike Coffman, perhaps the most vulnerable incumbent in Washington heading into next year’s election cycle, has been making serious overtures to Latino voters.
But on Thursday, when he voted along with fellow House Republicans to de-fund the Obama administration’s executive order that allows so-called “dreamers” — kids who were brought here by their illegal immigrant parents — to receive temporary work permits, Democrats pounced.
“Congressman Coffman just voted to take us back to the days of deporting law-abiding DREAM Act-eligible children who just want to live the American Dream,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“The public overwhelmingly wants to give these kids a shot at the American Dream, but Congressman Coffman and House Republicans are under the control of an extreme ideology that comes at the expense of these deserving young people.”
The DCCC was quick to point out that Coffman’s vote contradicts his statements earlier this year that he now favors legal status for illegal immigrants and a path to citizenship for their children.
Coffman responded Thursday afternoon saying there’s no contradiction in supporting a path to citizenship but opposing President Obama’s “deferred action” program.
“I strongly support giving a path to citizenship for the children who grew up and graduated from school here as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package but within these I.C.E. memos there is simply too much prosecutorial discretion,” Coffman said.
Democrat Andrew Romanoff is challenging Coffman for his seat next year.
Romanoff, the former House Speaker, has his own political issues with Hispanics after supporting immigration legislation during a special session called by former Gov. Bill Owens in 2006.
“If Washington Democrats want to criticize a politician with extreme views on immigration they should attack their own hand-picked candidate Andrew Romanoff,” said the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Tyler Q. Houlton.
“Romanoff is wildly out of touch with Colorado values and even admits he supported the harshest anti-immigrant laws in the country as Speaker of the Colorado House.”