West Slope voters want immigration reform, poll shows

More than three-quarters of voters in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District favor a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in the United States illegally, according to a recent poll.

Amnesty advocates touted the poll Tuesday in hopes of pushing U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., to support an immigration measure similar to one that passed the Senate earlier this year.

Tipton said this summer he’s working with House leadership to craft a measure that could go to conference committee with senators on changes to the nation’s immigration system.

Tipton’s office said in a statement he had shared with House leadership information gathered this summer “and is hopeful that Congress will be able to advance a reform solution that is fair, practical and compassionate.”

The poll of 720 likely voters, contacted on Thursday and Friday, showed 77 percent of voters, including 74 percent of Republicans, favored legislation similar to H.R. 15, which reflects the original legislation introduced in the Senate.

The House measure excludes provisions aimed at increased border security, which were added to gain Republican backing in the Senate.

America’s Voice, a pro-amnesty organization that sponsored the poll, said that supporting the Senate measure would give Republicans tarnished by the federal shutdown the opportunity to redeem themselves.

“How often do you have an issue that has broad bipartisan support in Congress, 70-plus percent support from constituents, strengthens the economy, is good politics for both parties and moves the country forward?” America’s Voice managing director Patty Kupfer said in a statement on the poll.

Tipton has been under pressure by the agricultural industry to support the Senate measure. John Harold of Tuxedo Farms in Olathe this summer urged Tipton to sign onto the Senate bill, saying that his business, which ships Olathe sweet corn around the nation, needs the ability to employ seasonal workers that the Senate measure would afford.

The existence of agricultural operations such as his “is directly tied to the quality of our labor force,” Palisade fruit grower Harry Talbott said. “If we don’t have a viable labor force, we have to go offshore or outside of our borders to somewhere where that labor force exists.”

The poll results were unsurprising, Talbott said, because they reflect American values of “a fair shake, a fair chance.”

Tipton “firmly believes that Congress must address immigration reform in this country — verifiable border security and a strengthened guest-worker program are two vital steps, among others, to permanently fix the problems facing our immigration system and ensuring that we don’t end up here again in 20 years with the same challenges,” his office said in a statement.

The House is working on a reform plan that “through a step-by-step approach (with numerous pieces of legislation that could be considered in unison), would fix our country’s immigration system,” Tipton’s office said.

The poll asked respondents to consider immigration reform.

“As you may know, the House of Representatives is beginning to consider different immigration reform proposals. One option is legislation that would significantly increase border security, block employers from hiring undocumented immigrants, and make sure that undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. with no criminal record register for legal status. If immigrants were to meet a list of requirements, they could eventually apply for citizenship. Knowing this information, would you support or oppose this legislation?”


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“Amnesty advocates”—is that fact or opinion?

Who are these “amnesty advocates?” Was that the wording in the Tipton Press release?

Local supporters of comprehensive immigration reform (S.744) should be gratified by recent polling results (“West Slope voters want immigration reform, poll shows”) – even though Congressman Scott (“Tea Party”) Tipton’s real position remains unclear.

On September 5, 2013, Tipton told a Delta “town meeting” that he put “border security” first, opposed any “pathway to citizenship” (even for “Dreamers”), but favored a separate guest-worker program.

Now, Tipton professes support for the original House bill (H.R. 15) which (Gary Harmon reports) purportedly “excludes [some] provisions aimed at increased border security”, but still “firmly believes that . . . verifiable border security and a strengthened guest-worker program are two vital steps”.

While the statement by Tipton’s office makes no mention of a “pathway to citizenship” (the essence of truly “comprehensive” reform), H.R. 15 does include a “DREAM Act”.

Tipton’s “change of heart” (if any) reflects Repugnicans’ belated awareness of internal contradictions in their dubious “conservative” policy positions – already obvious to the public, as reflected in polls blaming them for the “shutdown” and “debt ceiling” crises (costing some $324 billion) and – now – rejecting their obstruction of comprehensive immigration reform (which would save $1+ trillion over the next two decades).

Thus, after first supporting the shutdown and threatened default, Tipton voted to end both – only after calls for his resignation grew louder.  Meanwhile, Republicans’ manic efforts to reopen the government piecemeal exposed “sequestration’s” many harmful effects.

Because Republicans insisted that increased border security was a prerequisite for any “reform”, S.744 added $46.3 billion to double the number of Border Patrol agents, extend the border fence, etc.  H.R. 12 reduces that to $8.3 billion.  However, as Senator Michael Bennet opined, it defies common sense to spend billions on 21’ fences when 22’ ladders abound – particularly when more vital programs remain grossly under-funded.

Does Tipton represent the 75+%?

Hey Gary why do you not report who, when, where etc about the “survey” that you quote. Oh? I know! It doesn’t serve your purpose of slamming Tipton. We know how to fix it——close the damned borders like every other country.

Jerry Sanders’ comment demonstrates how difficult it is to engage in rational discourse with someone totally divorced from the facts – even when they’re written down in front of him.

Sanders first asks Gary Harmon why he didn’t report the who, when, where, etc. of the “survey” he cites.  However, Harmon’s report explicitly stated that the survey was conducted “America’s Voice” (the “who”), on Thursday and Friday (the “when”), in the 3rd Congressional District (the “where’).  Presumably, Patty Kupfer, clearly identified as managing director of “America’s Voice”, a calendar showing October 17-18, and the headline’s “West Slope” also constitute adequate answers to Sanders’ questions.

Curiously, Sanders also interprets Harmon’s report as somehow “slamming Tipton”, when more discerning readers familiar with Harmon’s self-styled role as Tipton’s loyal local mouthpiece recognized Harmon’s two references to “amnesty advocates” for what they were – code words.

In the parlance of the “far right”, any immigration reform that ever allows any immigrant who arrived her illegally to ever earn U.S. citizenship is tantamount to “amnesty”.  In 1986, Reagan’s attempt at immigration reform made some 3 million undocumented immigrants immediately eligible for “legalization”.  Both S.744 and H.R. 15 provide a much longer and windier “pathway to citizenship” that will take at least 13 years to complete (5 years for “Dreamers”) and can’t even begin until border security goals are met to the satisfaction of a yet-to-be-established Southern Border Security Commission.

Thus, because a complicated “pathway” to eventual citizenship is not the same thing as “amnesty”, Harmon’s use of the term marks him as a cheerleader for Tipton, not a critic.

Of course, underlying Tipton’s and Repugnicans’ disdain for a responsibly constructed “pathway to citizenship” (which they disingenuously mischaracterize as “amnesty”) is a cynical practical political calculation: they will win more elections if they prevent the creation of more minority citizens who would likely vote against them, while suppressing the votes of those who already do.

My bad Hugenburg. How in hello you got far right and all your other crapola out of that is beyond me. I will pray for. You need help. Trust me. Nor did I say amnesty. You are indeed warped beyond…....

“As you may know, the House of Representatives is beginning to consider different immigration reform proposals. One option is legislation that would significantly increase border security, block employers from hiring undocumented immigrants, and make sure that undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. with no criminal record register for legal status. If immigrants were to meet a list of requirements, they could eventually apply for citizenship. Knowing this information, would you support or oppose this legislation?”

Almost the exact same thing we were promised in 1986. How many of those promises did they keep?

As Annette Helgelien may not recall, the theory of the 1986 immigration reform act was that illegal immigration would be reduced by criminalizing employers’ hiring of illegals.

However, the act did not require employers to check papers of new hires and the Republican Reagan Administration Justice Department was reluctant to prosecute scofflaw businessmen—who usually voted Republican.

S.744 requires employers to check immigration status and funds a nationwide “e-verify” system to correct the problems of 1986.

Even without “e-verify”, the “pathway to citizenship” contained in both S.744 and H.R. 15 is much so much more daunting and lengthy than the 1986 “legalization” process that it is disingenuous to call the former “amnesty”.

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