Afghanistan Republicans Refugees

In this Aug. 26, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden answers questions from members of the media about the bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members, from the East Room of the White House in Washington. As the U.S. rushes to evacuate Americans and allies from Afghanistan, a growing number of Republicans are questioning why the U.S. should take in Afghan citizens who worked side by side with Americans. 

Three dozen Colorado elected officials are joining with more than 700 other Democratic policymakers across the country to encourage the Biden administration to loosen immigration rules.

Near the kickoff of next year's election, the letter cuts across several Democratic talking points, including the death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.

"As our state and local communities continue to confront a public health and economic catastrophe that has claimed more than 500,000 lives and exacerbated deep racial and economic inequities, it is vital that Congress enact protections for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential immigrant workers to secure the health of our nation and to lay the foundation for an equitable economic recovery for all communities across the country.

"Providing a path to citizenship for these individuals and their families not only recognizes the sacrifices they have made for all Americans over the past year, but also the important role they continue to play in America’s economic recovery and long-term global competitiveness."

The requests are in line with immigration policies Biden promised on the campaign trail last year. Issues around refugee resettlement are heightened, however, because of the urgency of assisting tens of thousands of Afghan allies and their family members fleeing the Taliban. About 70,000 Afghans are seeking Special Immigration Visas to come to the United States.

Biden has taken withering criticism from both sides of the ideal for being caught flat-footed and moving too slowly before the fall of Kabul.

Gov. Jared Polis sent a letter to the president last month to say Colorado is ready to do its part. He called out bureaucratic delays and urged Biden “to act quickly to evacuate and resettle eligible Afghans as there are lives at stake.” He singled out bureaucratic delays as particularly unacceptable.

You can read the letter by clicking here.

The Coloradans signing the letter are:

  • Sen. Dominick Moreno of Adams County
  • Aurora City Councilmember Council Member Juan Marcano
  • Aurora City Councilmember Crystal Murillo
  • Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver
  • Boulder City Councilmember Rachel Friend
  • Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin
  • Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer
  • Denver City Councilwoman Jamie Torres
  • Denver City Councilmember Kendra Black
  • Denver City Councilmember Robin Kniech
  • Denver City Council President Stacie Gilmore
  • Rep. Susan Lontine of Denver
  • Sen. Pete Lee of Colorado Springs
  • Rep. Karen McCormick of Longmont
  • Rep. Judy Amabile of Boulder
  • Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg of Boulder
  • Sen. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada
  • House Speaker Alec Garnett of Denver
  • Rep. Chris Kennedy of Lakewood
  • Rep. Monica Duran of Denver
  • Rep. Brianna Titone of Arvada
  • Sen. Janet Buckner of Aurora
  • Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet of Commerce City
  • Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Thornton
  • Rep. Adrienne Benavidez of Adams County
  • Sen. Julie Gonzales of Denver
  • Rep. Mike Weissman of Aurora
  • Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez of Denver
  • Rep. Naquetta Ricks of Aurora
  • Rep. Alex Valdez of Denver
  • Rep. Cathy Kipp of Fort Collins
  • Rep. Steven Woodrow of Denver
  • Rep. Leslie Herod of Denver
  • Rep. Emily Sirota of Denver
  • Sen. Brittany Pettersen of Jefferson County
  • Rep. Kerry Tipper of Lakewood

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