Meet Three Colorado Politicos Who Like Trump's Refugee Ban

Representative Doug Lamborn. Additional photos below.
Representative Doug Lamborn. Additional photos below. File photo
Update: Three Republican Congressmen from Colorado who didn't immediately share their thoughts on President Donald Trump's controversial executive order about immigration have now publicly endorsed it, though two express minor reservations.

As we've reported (see our previous coverage below), the other members of Colorado's congressional delegation have already criticized or condemned the order, which bans all refugees from entering the country for 120 days, indefinitely restricts U.S. entry by Syrians, and forbids visits by citizens of seven nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) for ninety days. The order also gives priority to followers of so-called minority religions, including Christianity, in Muslim-majority nations.

All of the Democrats elected to Congress from Colorado — Senator Michael Bennet and representatives Jared Polis, Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter — castigated Trump's order in strong terms. Also making negative comments were two congressional Republicans from the state, Senator Cory Gardner and Representative Mike Coffman.

Initially silent were three other Republican representatives: Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton and Ken Buck. After the publication of our post yesterday, Lamborn and Tipton released official statements, while Buck sent an e-mail comment to Colorado Public Radio.

Lamborn is the most positive about the order, calling it prudent. He does mention an issue with holders of green cards stopped at assorted U.S. airports, but congratulates the Trump administration for dealing with the matter. (The White House eventually announced that the Department of Homeland Security could allow those with green cards to enter the country on a case-by-case basis.) He also rips "one-sided media narratives."

For his part, Tipton makes more of an issue about the green-card snafu but otherwise backs the action. And Buck's remark represents support without caveats.

Here are their statements, followed by our earlier report.

Representative Scott Tipton.
YouTube file photo
Scott Tipton:

“I support strong security vetting for anyone who wishes to enter the United States, regardless of their faith, so a temporary halt on accepting new immigrants and refugees from certain countries that are known hotbeds for terrorism while we strengthen our screening procedures is a reasonable action. However, I am concerned about the impact that the President’s executive order is having on individuals who have visas or green cards. Individuals who have already been vetted and granted visas or permanent resident status should not be impacted by the executive order, and putting them under the umbrella of this order’s reach – no matter where they come from — will further damage an already-flawed immigration system.

“Last year, top national security advisors under the Obama Administration told Congress that they do not have the ability to verify the identities of refugees fleeing Syria for the United States. Until we have this ability, I do not think it is unreasonable to halt resettlement, however, the executive order needs to be clarified, as its impacts on law abiding visa and green card holders are unacceptable. We are a compassionate nation that continues to be built by immigrants, but unfortunately bad actors try to use our compassion to do harm. Government’s priority must be to keep Americans safe, and I believe that can be done while still maintaining a generous immigration system that ensures those who wish to harm Americans do not slip through the cracks.”

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Representative Ken Buck's official portrait.
Ken Buck:

"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 seven countries. The President’s executive order is a temporary effort that addresses a serious issue with terrorist hot spots."

Doug Lamborn:

"The safety and security of America is a primary constitutional function of the federal government. President Trump's recent Executive Order is consistent with H.R 4038, a bipartisan bill that passed the House in the last Congress and called for a temporary halt of refugees from nations torn apart by terrorism until the implementation of increased security and screening measures. By taking steps to temporarily stop refugee admittance from nations that are hotbeds of terrorist activity, the President is taking prudent action to ensure that his national security and law enforcement teams have the strategies and systems in place that they will need to protect and defend America.

"While I do not support the broad, misinformed, and inflammatory criticisms of the Executive Order, it is important that the privileges of law-abiding Green Card holders are not abridged. I appreciate the White House Chief of Staff clarifying this point over the weekend.

"Rather than being influenced by one-sided media narratives, it is important to remember that President Obama also implemented temporary refugee and visa restrictions for national security purposes. Now is not a time for division fueled by dishonesty and partisan politics, now is a time for our nation to come together and work diligently to find lasting and sustainable solutions to the national security challenges of the 21st century."

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An image from our slideshow "Photos: These Protesters at DIA Condemned Trump's Refugee Ban." Additional images below.
Photo by Brandon Marshall
Original post, 5:52 a.m. January 30: Protests against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning refugees from entering the United States that started at Denver International Airport on Saturday, January 28, continued for most of Sunday, January 29 — as they did at many such facilities across the country. Plenty of Coloradans made their voices heard at the demonstrations, and numerous politicians in the state have weighed in, too. However, several notable members of Congress from Colorado's delegation have been silent on the subject.

Trump's order placed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees coming to America, blocked refugees from all nations from entering the country for 120 days, and forbade visitors of any sort from seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from coming here for ninety days. Moreover, the order mandates that followers of minority religions in Muslim-majority states (such as Christianity) will be prioritized.

Reaction to this edict was swift in many major American cities, including Denver. As Kyle Harris reported, as many as 1,000 people took part in Saturday's protest, with the Sunday crowd numbering in the hundreds.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Participants represented a diverse lot, as noted by Amal Kassir, an international spoken-word poet (and subject of a Westword cover story three years ago) who was among the organizers of the event. In a Facebook post shared earlier this morning, she wrote:
To my white brothers and sisters at DIA protest: a special, sincere thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you for standing without even a hesitation despite the risk of arrest. For knowing well that your presence was important. Thank you for your peace signs and your voices and your numbers and your passion and your patriotism. Thank you for protecting the worshipping Americans and the Constitution that protects them. Thank you for making this demonstration as big as it was. You were the majority. And together, we showed that when skin is just a color, everyone is invited to paint.

Thank you for supporting this cause. We the People are so radiant when we are colorful and we come in peace. 
Both of Colorado's U.S. senators and the majority of Congressional representatives have issued statements decrying all or part of Trump's executive order — every Democrat (plus the Colorado Democratic Party), as well as Republican Representative Mike Coffman and Senator Cory Gardner.

But we have been unable to find any comment on the order, be it positive or negative, from the other three Republican members of Congress from Colorado: Ken Buck, Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn.

Below, read the statements issued to date, as illustrated by photos from our DIA-demonstration slideshow titled "These Protesters at DIA Condemned Trump's Refugee Ban." Also included is a photo of a refugee child whom Congresswoman Diana DeGette used to illustrate her Facebook post on the topic.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Colorado Democratic Party, via Chair Rick Palacio:

"For the second straight weekend, people have poured into the streets to show Donald Trump that we will rise up, and that we, the people, will not be silent in the face of discrimination and racism. Through this executive order, which is being challenged in court, President Trump has violated our American values and our constitution.

"Our nation is a nation that welcomes people of all races, religions, and creeds, and we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters across this country against Trump's refugee order."

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Representative Jared Polis (Democrat)

“Turning our backs on some of the most vulnerable populations throughout the world because of their religion is contrary to our values, and will only serve to further divide us as a nation.

“President Trump does not have the mandate for these extreme orders, and I will fight these harmful policies. These actions are highly disturbing, and they further underscore the need for both congressional Republicans and Democrats to come together and focus on fixing our broken immigration system in a practical and humane way."

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Senator Michael Bennet (Democrat)

“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. “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.”

Representative Diana DeGette (Democrat)

"President Trump's executive order on refugees slammed the door to safety, security and hope for millions around the world. America has always been a beacon to oppressed people, and while this extreme policy is a major setback, it doesn't change America's inclusive spirit. Can President Trump look refugees like Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy in this photo....

Facebook the eye and say they’re not welcome? Could anyone with a conscience?"

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Representative Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)

"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."

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Representative Mike Coffman (Republican)

"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."

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Senator Cory Gardner (Republican)

“While I am supportive of strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, a blanket travel ban goes too far. I also believe that lawful residents of the United States should be permitted to enter the country. I urge the Administration to take the appropriate steps to fix this overly broad executive order.”
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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