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Tipton’s vote upsets local immigration group

Congressman ‘empathetic,’ spokesman says

A local immigration group is criticizing U.S. House Republicans for voting against a program that would defer the deportation of young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children.Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center is focusing its outrage on three Colorado congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for their votes.“Congress is telling these kids that they’re holding them accountable for the actions of their parents,” said Nicole Mosher, executive director of Compañeros. “These kids consider themselves Americans. They were raised here.”Tipton voted along party lines to stop funding for President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program delays the deportation of eligible students for two years and allows them to register with the Social Security Administration and find work.

As defined by the government, deferred action provides temporary relief from deportation but may be revoked at any time. Deferred action is not amnesty or immunity, and does not provide lawful immigration status or a path to a green card or citizenship.

The amendment was added to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security spending bill because Homeland Security oversees federal immigration programs, including DACA, which is why Tipton voted with his party, his spokesman Josh Green said Friday.“His vote here was not about that policy so much about the way in which the president, or agency in this case, issues a memo for when and where to enforce immigration laws without going through the proper channels,” Green said. “He is empathetic to those who came here at no fault of their own.”The amendment passed the House 224-201 on Thursday but is unlikely to pass the Senate or be signed by Obama.

The votes came ahead of a floor debate Friday in the Senate to create a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which includes a 13-year path to citizenship for immigrants who have entered the country illegally. House leaders have indicated they will create their own immigration bill, according to The Washington Post.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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