Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) withdrew his support from a strong, bipartisan public safety and homeland security funding bill because House Republicans attached several unrelated "poison pill" measures putting thousands of law abiding "DREAMers" at risk of deportation and criminal prosecution.
Perlmutter said, "It's unacceptable House Republicans continue playing partisan political games rather than advancing the best interest of the country and Colorado. They included unnecessary, ideological and discriminatory policy provisions in a bill where they don't belong. It's an attack on our core values and pledge of "liberty and justice for all," and that's wrong.
"I support efforts to protect our borders, strengthen our nation's preparedness and ability to respond to natural disasters like the wildfires in Colorado or tornadoes in Oklahoma, and protect our nation's cybersecurity infrastructure.
"But I had to oppose the public safety and homeland security appropriations bill today because last minute amendments dealing with immigration, abortion and other extraneous provisions were tacked on outside of the committee process.
"I hope the Senate and subsequent conference committee will remove these extraneous "poison pill" policy riders so I can ultimately support final passage and we can get back to the business of securing the United States in a strong, responsible manner."
After months of collaborative work, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2014 with strong bipartisan support. However, at the last minute, House Republicans inserted the following "riders" to the bill before a vote in the full House:
Amendment to prohibit resources for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement President Obama's June 2012 executive order protecting the "DREAMers" from deportation--those estimated 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.
Amendment to prevent prosecutorial discretion to ensure immigration enforcement resources are targeted at serious criminals, and not at innocent victims of domestic violence and other crimes victims who come forward to seek protection from their abusers.
An amendment reaffirming existing law to prohibit federal funding for ICE to provide abortions.