Gardner says he wants bigger GOP tent, so why is he excluding young immigrants?

Just after the November election, a chastened Cory Gardner told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols:

Gardner: “Republicans have always talked about having a big tent, but it doesn’t do any good if the tent doesn’t have any chairs in it. Bringing Latinos to the forefront, bringing women in, is absolutely critical.”

So you’d think Gardner, who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, would, over the ensuing six months, at least make room in the GOP tent for the children of undocumented immigrants, who were brought to this country through no fault of their own.

You’d think Gardner would get on board with Colorado’s ASSET law, which allows colleges to offer these so-called “Dreamers” the normal in-state tuition rate.

But on Monday, the same day that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed ASSET into law, Gardner told KNUS’ Steve Kelley, that he still opposes Colorado’s new policy of granting in-state tuition to the Dreamers, because Gardner does not believe the U.S. borders are secure enough, and that’s his first priority.

Kelley: Comments on Colorado, now. The Governor, last Friday, rescinded a bill, repealed a bill on notification of illegals. This all ties together, by the way, the Boston bombings and all of these are connected. Obviously, you deal with these things on a federal level, but as a state, now, we’ve repealed this notification thing. And then, in-state tuition for illegals in Colorado, you must have a comment on that.

Gardner: I think we’re actually doing everything backwards. The solution has to come from the federal government on border security with an immigration policy that actually works to identify those who want to come into this country legally, who want to work here legally. But we can’t start putting in place in-state tuition, whether it’s other things that are being in placed [sic] by the states, without actually addressing the root problem that will only continue more illegal immigration into this country. And so, that’s why we’ve got to have a policy that actually works, and I believe it starts with border security.

Gardner, who’s long opposed ASSET, isn’t the only GOP muckety muck who promised to be nice to Hispanics after the 2012 election collapse. Who can forget former GOP lawmakers Josh Penry’s and Rob Witwer’s clarion call for a more loving Republican Party or a dead one. They wrote of the Dreamers: “These kids grow up in households where parents work hard and attend church on Sunday. These are American values. But yes, some of these kids — through no fault of their own — were not born American citizens.”

If Kelley won’t ask a guy like Gardner about the substance of his promise to open the GOP tent to Hispanics, I’m hoping real journalists won’t forget next time they’re standing in front of Gardner and others like him.

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