Our Nation of Immigrants

Our Nation of Immigrants

We often refer to our country as “a nation of immigrants.”  For me, this concept is personal—my mom came to the United States in 1951 as a refugee, after being born in a Nazi concentration camp at the end of World War II.  My grandparents and my mom came here because of America’s commitment to freedom and opportunity for all.  Unfortunately, President Trump’s approach to immigration—including his reported decision to terminate the DACA program—threatens the foundation of what makes our nation great.  To protect our immigrants and develop a sound immigration policy at this time in our history, we need engaged citizens and responsible leaders to step forward.  I’m running for Attorney General to be one of those leaders.

During Barack Obama’s Presidency, Congress failed to pass the sort of comprehensive and sensible immigration reform that our Senator Michael Bennet spearheaded and that our country desperately needed.  So President Obama used his executive authority—and discretion on how to enforce our laws—to make a promise to the children of undocumented immigrants: they could be productive members of our society and not have to live in the shadows.  These are kids who were brought here by their parents and who cannot recall living anywhere other than in the United States. This program, “Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA, enjoys wide support and makes powerful economic sense.  But a number of Republican State Attorneys General have challenged DACA.  Sadly, our current Attorney General here in Colorado has remained silent on this issue, rather than criticize the suit by other State AGs and call on the Trump Administration to maintain this program.

Trump announced that DACA will end in 6 months.  Such a decision threats the lives of hard-working individuals who have only known life here in the United States. It would force them back into the shadows.  It also hurts our nation by breaking a commitment to immigrants who trusted our government to keep its word, by creating a self-inflicted economic wound, and by causing fear and disruption for hundreds of thousands of young people in jobs, in the military, or in school.  We need our Attorney General to support DACA and to work with our institutions, including our colleges and schools, to ensure that DACA recipients are treated fairly—especially if Trump ends the program and leaves them in a precarious situation.

Currently, the Trump Administration is seeking to enlist states and cities in its effort to deport law-abiding members of our communities.  In a display of responsible leadership, Denver is refusing to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in targeting undocumented individuals.   Mayor Michael Hancock has made it clear that Denver is safer because it protects our undocumented community members when they come to court to testify about crimes. On the other hand, President Trump’s policy is inhumane and threatens to make us less safe.

As our next Attorney General, I will defend our state, our cities, and our counties’ decisions to refuse to cooperate with DHS in deporting law-abiding members of our communities. I will also join other State Attorneys General to challenge the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims seeking to immigrate to the United States.  So far, our federal courts have stopped the Trump travel ban from taking full effect.  Our Attorney General, unfortunately, has refused to join with other State Attorneys General to protect our nation’s tradition of welcoming immigrants regardless of their religion, race, or economic background.

Our nation’s greatness owes a lot to our welcoming attitude toward immigrants from around the world who come here to share their talent and hard work and to benefit from our freedoms and economic opportunity.  My family has lived this experience.  As Attorney General, I will fight for the humane and welcoming treatment of our immigrants, including DACA recipients and undocumented individuals living here productively.  And I will be one of the State Attorneys General standing up against religious discrimination of those seeking to immigrate here.

Shares 0