A Dissection of Mike Coffman's Misguided Amnesty Missive

Misguided Mike Coffman (R-CO, 6th District) got a pro-amnesty article published in the Denver Post on July 21, 2013: "The time for immigration reform is now". While it's pretty much routine to see such an article in the open-borders Denver Post, it is rather surprising to see a so-called "conservative Republican" pushing amnesty for illegal aliens. Perhaps the age-old political desire to pander for votes and campaign contributions is driving Coffman's desertion of conservative principles.

Here a few items from Coffman's misguided missive with revealing responses (indented):

Coffman: "While we are a nation of immigrants..."

The author's reply: I'm not an immigrant, are you? The United States is a country of Americans. A small fraction of Americans today are legal immigrants. In our distant past, our country was populated by settlers, some of whom where legal immigrants. That does not makes us a nation of immigrants any more than England, Russia, China, or Mexico are nations of immigrants.

Coffman: "This is not just because we can't control our own borders and enforce our immigration laws..."

Actually, Mike, it's not that we can't do so. Our corrupt politicians simply won't do so.

Coffman: "First, we must secure our borders and enforce our laws."

Now that actually makes sense. Do that. Full stop. No need to bring in 57 million immigrants via amnesty. Simply enforce existing laws.

Coffman: "Ironically, my first overeas [sic] military assignment involved providing border security for another country while our own border remained unsecure."

And our border remains unsecured because although Congress authorized building a secure border fence, they deauthorized funding for it. By the way, Mike, what are you doing to ensure completion of the border fence as authorized by Congress this time around? What is to stop a second "deauthorized funding"?

Coffman: "I've been down to our border with Mexico and I'm not convinced that simply throwing more money at border security will solve the problem. What is needed is leadership that reflects both the will to secure our borders and objective metrics..."

Sure, we nead leadership (please show some) as well as metrics. Yet you're effectively saying that you don't want the border fence to be built as authorized by Congress, right? Why not? Afraid it will work?

It turns out that I was on the border, too. Over multiple years. I spent considerable time with law enforcement agents and border patrol agents all across the Arizona-Mexico border (see photos). They all said that their jobs were being effectively sabotaged by their administrations in DC. As media liaison for the Minuteman Project in April, 2005 (see photos), I saw firsthand how grandmothers in lawn chairs secured our border. But if that's not good enough for you, American Border Patrol has developed an incredible sensor system that detects both foot traffic and low-flying aircraft (see IDENTISEIS video).

Coffman: "40 percent of illegal immigration is committed by those who first enter our country legally but then overstay their visas."

Correct. Visa overstays must be addressed. Perhaps we should model Singapore, which requires a substantial security deposit, which is held until temporary visa holders return home.

However, this doesn't mean that we should ignore the fact that 60 percent of illegal immigration is a result of foreign job-seekers who sneak into our country and evade capture at our border.

Coffman: "Removing the incentives for employers to hire people who are in this country illegally should be an essential element of any comprehensive proposal."

Golly, that's already the law - see US. Code Title 8 Section 1324! It's just that the law is not enforced. We don't need more law; we need more enforcement of existing laws.

Coffman: "employers must have access and be required to use an electronic system, such as E-Verify..."

Absolutely. To clarify, Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform - and the vast majority of Americans - do not want to replace the excellent E-Verify system with a new, albeit dysfunctional and watered-down replacement. Rather E-Verify must be made mandatory for both the public and private sectors.

Coffman: "Reform efforts should facilitate a more fluid and workable visa authorization system so that temporary workers for both low- and highly skilled positions can obtain and renew work permits. Seasonal temporary work, such as in agriculture, needs a robust system that allows the workers, without their families, to come into our country when they are needed and then go home after their seasonal work is done..."

Oh, come on. We all know about the H-1B visa scam where American high-tech workers are forced to train their cheap, foreign replacements. I've been there, done that. (See The Bogus High-Tech Worker Shortage: How Guest Workers Lower US Wages.)

Regarding low-wage workers, here's an idea: increase the pay! Americans will do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. They always have. They built this country.

Agricultural economist Philip Martin emphasized that labor accounts for only about ten percent of the retail price of a head of lettuce. So even doubling the wages of field workers would have negligible effect on consumers' pocketbooks.

Coffman: "comprehensive immigration reform must show compassion to the families that have been here regardless of their immigration status. Many have either children who... grew up here... I believe that these young people should be afforded a pathway to citizenship. The adults who knowingly broke our immigration laws but who have otherwise not violated any criminal laws should be provided a temporary provisional residency..."

And then what? Ever since 1957 Congress prioritized the admission of non-nuclear, extended family members in U.S. immigration policy. Each immigrant can subsequently petition for the admission of parents, siblings and their families, and adult children and their families. The consequences of virtually unlimited chain migration (see this chart) are truly astounding.

Coffman: "Our immigration system is badly broken, and every day that it is allowed to continue constitutes amnesty for those who have violated our laws..."

Incorrect on both points. Our system is not broken. It is simply that our administration and Congress do not to enforce existing immigration laws. Second, amnesty is a formal release to a group from punishment for committing a crime. There is nothing formal about dubiously ignoring existing immigration laws - which are not being enforced for two obvious reasons. One is that doing so guarantees corporate interests an unending supply of cheap, foreign job-seekers. The second is that every "immigrant" is an undocumented democrat.

By the way, Rep. Coffman, what are you doing supporting amnesty that you know will virtually destroy the future of your own Republican party?



Notes and articles:

Here is how to contact Rep Mike Coffman to express your opinion of his sell-out on amnesty for illegal aliens.

GOP’s Jeb Bush, Mike Coffman - Not Just Hispanderers But Turncoats - And Traitors To America’s Working Class, Alan Wall, VDare, April 17, 2015

The myth and a fallacy that Republicans must cater to Hispanics in order to capture the Hispanic vote has been soundly refuted. Hispanics-Americans do not support amnesty for illegal aliens any more than any other American demographic.

The GOP and Immigration - Principled suicide vs. death by pandering, Center for Immigration Studies, July 22, 2013

GOP immigration suicide, Fred Elbel, June 4, 2013

Mike Coffman does a 180 on immigration, Politico, February 25, 2013

“My district dramatically changed,” the congressman [Mike Coffman] told POLITICO. “In the district I had until last month, there wasn’t a significant Hispanic population, and with the population I had, immigration wasn’t a significant issue. In the district I have now, there is a significant Hispanic population. And meeting with those people really put a face on it.”...

...Coffman’s new district is centered in Aurora, which in recent years has seen an infusion of Hispanics who have migrated to the Denver suburbs in search of quality schools and housing. Under Colorado’s map, Hispanics make up a little more than 20 percent of the newlydrawn 6th Congressional District...


Rep Mike Coffman (R) tells Aurora crowd he favors legal status for immigrants - Rep Mike Coffman (R) tells Aurora crowd he favors legal status for immigrants [illegal aliens], The Denver Post, February 10, 2013

Coffman pulls away from rest of Colorado GOP on immigration - Coffman's sentiment contradicts earlier statements he has made against the DREAM Act, Denver Post, July 23, 2013

Immigration reform lobbying group launches new Colorado Representative Mike Coffman TV ad, YouTube, July 26, 2013

Republicans scramble for the center on immigration, KTVU, February 8, 2013

How Democrats Sponsored Illegal Immigration, Fred Elbel, CAIRCO.org, February 25, 2013.

Study finds more immigrants equals more Democrats - and more losses for GOP, Byron York, Washington Times, April 15, 2014.

Immigration's Impact on Republican Political Prospects, 1980 to 2012, James G. Gimpel Center for Immigration Studies, April, 2014.

Top 10 reasons to oppose the Enlist Act (H.R. 2377).