Changing Immigration Politics in Colorado

Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) tells a personal story: “I was visiting a high school in Kit Carson, Colorado when a young woman came up to me asking about in-state tuition for non-citizens. ‘I’m graduating at the top of my high school class, but my parents brought me here illegally when I was five years old and without in-state tuition I can’t afford college,’ she told me.” Gardner’s answer — that for several reasons this really needed to be dealt with as part of broader immigration reform — left him feeling unsatisfied even though it accurately represented his view.

He continues: “Five years later, I went back to Kit Carson and sat down in a little restaurant for a quick bite. And who do you think ended up serving me? The same girl who five years earlier was the valedictorian of her high school.” Gardner’s conclusion — and how could it be otherwise? — is that this cannot be the best outcome for the girl, for her family, or for the State of Colorado.

With the increasing Hispanic population of Colorado (and most other states) and the like-it-or-not fact that compared to Cory Gardner’s high school years the minority population in many public schools has exploded from single-digit percentages to sometimes being the majority of the student body, it is difficult to imagine how Republicans — either personally or politically — can remain stuck on immigration policy positions of years past, positions that seem to ignore both demographic and economic reality.

But as we head into November’s important elections — in which Cory Gardner’s entrance into the Colorado senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark “Whatever Obama Wants” Udall has added this state to the list of possible GOP pickups — the question is political reality.

Last week in Denver, I attended an interesting and perhaps hope-inspiring meeting

Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:

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