Colorado leaders condemn Trump executive action on border wall with Mexico

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January 25, 2017, 1:52 pm
Tijuana border fence

A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector. Wiki Commons photo.

The head of Colorado’s foremost environmental group today lambasted the Trump administration for moving ahead with a projected $25 billion border wall with Mexico that at least initially will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, a direct contradiction of President Donald Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for the wall to stem illegal immigration.
Mexico is the second largest trading partner for Colorado goods and services, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, importing nearly $1 billion in goods a year and accounting for more than 105,000 Colorado jobs. And the state is both a major tourism destination for Mexican travelers as well as a significant source of tourists to Mexico.
Pete Maysmith

Pete Maysmith

“As an organization that does significant organizing with Latino and immigrant communities, we see firsthand how these sorts of extreme policies would impact people across the board and hurt our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. We are appalled by these announcements, which are immoral and contrary to our American values,” Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith said of Trump’s executive action on immigration.

Besides the economic and social damage, Maysmith says the proposed 2,000-mile border wall would be an environmental disaster.
“These policies will also have major impacts on the environment, including the border wall’s destruction of one of the most unique habitats and important wildlife corridors in the American Southwest,” Maysmith said.

“Our America is better than this, and Conservation Colorado pledges to stand with all people of Colorado as we fight for a better environment and future for our families. We call on the president to reconsider these policies that will hurt so many among us, and call on {Colorado] Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet to stand up for Colorado families rather than ideological and hateful rhetoric that hurts and degrades our communities.”

Some polling finds Americans fairly evenly split on building the border wall. A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 47 percent of voters support building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 45 percent oppose, which holds with results from their Sep. 2 poll, where 46 percent supported and 45 percent opposed. But other pre-election polls found a majority (60 percent) of likely voters opposed the wall.
The Politico poll, released today, found that illegal immigration was only the fourth greatest threat to America after domestic terrorism, economic collapse and international terrorism. Also, the poll found that 68 percent of voters support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they meet certain standards, compared to 25 percent who oppose, and that 72 percent of voters want to allow undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children to be able to apply for legal status.
That may explain why Trump has held off on his campaign promise to repeal Obama administration executive actions that established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that blocks deportation of undocumented students and workers who were brought here as young children.
Despite the fact that illegal immigration is currently at a 40-year low, Trump launched his campaign with an attack on Mexico and made it a constant refrain at campaign stops where he swore Mexico would pay for the wall.
Colorado state Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, blasted Trump’s action:

“Not only does President Trump want to target hard-working people who have made so many positive contributions to their communities, and tear them from their families, but he wants to build a wall the American people will most assuredly be paying for?” Guzman said. “These un-American actions run completely counter to what we as Coloradans stand for, and we will not turn our backs on our neighbors.”

Republicans in Congress are irritated that Trump continues to falsely maintain that voter fraud by millions of illegal immigrants cost him the popular vote, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, stood by the state’s election results that saw Democrat Hillary Clinton win the state by three percentage points.

“In Colorado our clerks and our judges prevent the overwhelming majority of attempts to vote that are improper,” he said. “Voter fraud is rare but it undercuts our confidence in democracy, which is why it is so critical to protect against.”

 

 

 

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David O. Williams
David O. Williams is an award-winning energy, environmental, political, entertainment, outdoor and sports writer based in the Vail Valley. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, LA Weekly, ESPN.com, SKI Magazine, Powder and People Magazine. He also regularly contributes to The Colorado Statesman and Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com.

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