Where Colorado officials stand on Trump’s refugee order


News of President Donald Trump temporarily slamming the borders on all refugees for 120 days— and for Syrians indefinitely— while blocking refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries has been explosive.

Over the weekend, protesters swarmed airports where refugees were being detained. Lawyers have filed lawsuits. A federal judge in Brooklyn temporarily stopped deportations of refugees who just arrived. Protests continued Sunday, including at Denver International Airport. 

Some Republican members of Congress have spoken out against Trump’s executive order, which he signed Friday afternoon, with one from Colorado calling it an “embarrassment.” On Monday evening, Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet gave a 12-minute floor speech in response to Trump’s order, saying the Senate should “end the ban immediately” if Trump doesn’t rescind it. 

Here’s what all nine members of Colorado’s congressional delegation — the two senators and seven representatives — are saying: 

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Yuma:

On Friday, a local TV station quoted Gardner saying, “People shouldn’t be afraid, I don’t think, in this country,” about Trump’s first few days in office. “We should be proud. We should take pride in the differences of opinions in this country. But never use that or let fear interfere with making this country stronger or fighting for your viewpoints.”

On Sunday, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora posted via Facebook:

While I’ve supported heightened vetting procedures for those wanting to travel to our country, I have never, nor will I ever support a blanket travel ban for people solely based on ethnic or religious grounds.

As Denverite pointed out, Coffman’s statement “doesn’t actually refer to the order directly.”

But by Monday he had something way more direct to say.

“I certainly would agree with the president that Islamic terrorism is a real threat to our national security … But I think the policy was poorly thought-out and badly executed and I think it’s just an embarrassment,” he told The Denver Post’s Washington, D.C. reporter Mark K. Matthews in a brief interview at Reagan National Airport. “It seemed that it was more crafted by campaign operatives than national security experts.”

Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs called Trump’s travel ban “prudent.”

Republican Congressman Scott Tipton of Cortez said he is concerned about confusion for green card holders, via Facebook:

I am concerned about the confusion that Friday’s executive order has created for U.S. green card holders and permanent residents. I support enhanced security screening for individuals who are traveling to the U.S. from countries that have been identified as terrorist hotbeds, and I believe we need to affirm that an individual isn’t a security threat before we allow them to enter our country. I encourage 3rd District green card holders and permanent residents who have been adversely impacted by the confusion about the executive order to contact my office, so my team and I can provide assistance.

Republican Congressman Ken Buck of Windsor, via email, said he believes Trump’s order addresses a serious issue:

Our country has always offered hope for the oppressed and homeless, but hope also requires safety and security. We should not let people into this country unless we can thoroughly vet them. America welcomes Muslims from 190 countries and temporarily bans all individuals from 7 countries. The President’s executive order is a temporary effort that addresses a serious issue with terrorist hot spots.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet 12-minute floor speech in response to Trump’s order on Monday in Washington, D.C.

Earlier he used Twitter to call on Trump to rescind the order. And if not, he said, Congress should override it.

“The President’s executive order on refugees will harm, not enhance, our national security and marks a significant departure from our nation’s proud history of welcoming people in need of protection,” Bennet said in a stateement provided via email.

More from Bennet:

 To halt completely or to shape our refugee program by religious or ethnic preferences betrays the values that have made our country strong.

Refugees are fleeing the same violence and extremism that threatens our nation’s security and are more thoroughly vetted than any other group of people entering the United States. In addition, targeting certain religions and groups will undermine our counterterrorism efforts by stoking anti-West sentiment among ISIS followers and other extremists.

Instead, we should focus on addressing the security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program. We should implement a stronger strategy for countering ISIS propaganda in order to degrade its ability to radicalize and recruit. Finally, we should pass the 2013 immigration reform bill, which included measures to secure our borders and enhance interior enforcement. Addressing these vulnerabilities and investing in smart security solutions will help make us safer and remain true to our values.

He also tweeted:

Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver, via Twitter:

Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Golden, via Facebook:

“These extreme and discriminatory actions conflict with America’s values and I will continue fighting to make sure our country is able to continue its history of inclusiveness while protecting the security of the American people. Thank you to the thousands of Americans protesting and standing up for American values at airports across the country.”

And on Twitter:

Democratic Congressman Jared Polis of Boulder, via Twitter:

Polis also tweeted:

As for Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, he called Trump’s travel ban “a powerful recruiting tool” for America’s enemies, and called for Trump to rescind the order.

“The vast majority of refugees admitted to the United States are families, mainly comprised of women and children, and all refugees are admitted only after they make it through the world’s toughest vetting program.  Many of the refugees helped US forces, often in violent and chaotic circumstances, risking their lives in the process.

We can and should continue to work with the federal government and Homeland Security to ensure that the verification system used to screen refugees is as stringent as possible.  But we can do that while we honor our values as Americans. Religious tests and blanket bans diminish those values and injure our international reputation.  The executive order serves as a powerful recruiting tool for our enemies and needlessly antagonizes our allies around the world.  We believe that Americans will be less safe, at home and abroad, if the executive order is fully implemented. We urge the President to rescind the executive order.”

Here’s Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman:

At least one Republican member of Colorado’s state Senate, Larry Crowder of Alamosa, also registered surprise at Trump’s order.

The Washington Post is keeping a running whip count of where Republicans in Congress around the country stand on Trump’s travel ban.

On Sunday, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had this to say:

“It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.

In Colorado, demonstrators have been showing up at the regional offices of some of the state’s delegation regardless of party. In Denver, about 40 called on Bennet to oppose Trump’s pick to lead the EPA. In Durango, about 50 people showed up to Gardner’s office in that town Tuesday “in an attempt to elicit a response from their elected official,” The Durango Herald reported.

On Friday more than a dozen were cited for trespassing during a demonstration at Gardner’s office in Denver.




  1. Presidents have, within the law 8 USC 1182, section f, the right to ban aliens/immigrants, or whatever term of the moment you want to call immigrant/refugees


    (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
    Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline
    In terms of immigrant bans President Obama has previously issued 6 immigrant bans, President George W. Bush had 6, President Bill Clinton had 6, Ronald Reagan 4 and President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians on April 7th 1980.
    Obama’s, many of which involved countries or areas that are majority Muslim are reported as follows:
    — July 25, 2011. Barred those under a UN travel ban, or who broke 29 executive orders covering transactions with terrorists.
    — Aug. 4, 2012. Banned anybody involved in war crimes, or just about any other crime including human rights violations.
    — April 23, 2012. Barred those helping Syria or Iran, or involved in human rights abuses for those governments.
    — May 1, 2012. Another block on those helping Iran and Syria.
    — April 3, 2014. Banned anyone known to threaten South Sudan.
    — March 6, 2014 . Barred entry of those claiming government authority in the Crimea region of Ukraine, presumably on behalf of Moscow.

  2. Even if I agreed with this ban — I emphatically don’t — It appears it was executed by an amateur who is surrounded by amateurs.

    But are they just incompetent, ill-informed and foolish? It caused confusion and panic. Was that the point?

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