Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols reported this morning that Rep. Mike Coffman will stage a press conference today calling on his Republican colleagues in the House to pass the Enlist Act, which would offer a young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through military service.
News coverage about Coffman's bill, which has been rejected by Republican leadership, will naturally touch on broader immigration reform, as Stokols' piece did this morning, quoting Coffman thusly:
"There's got to be a path down the middle," Coffman told FOX31 Denver in an interview last week. "Let's secure our borders, enforce our laws, let's have immigration policies that are going to grow the economy, but let's also be compassionate and keep families together."
Reporters need to stop letting Coffman throw out these platitudes without asking him, what's his specific plan? He doesn't support the bipartisan immigration bill passed by 68 Senators, so Coffman is siding with 32 Republican opponents, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. What's Coffman's specific problem with the Senate bill? What amendment(s) would he offer to fix it, to try to move it out of the House, where it's stalled.
In his piece this morning, Stokols quoted the spokesperson for Coffman's Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff, who pointed out that Coffman opposes the Senate immigration bill.
That's a good start, contrasting Romanoff's position in favor of the Senate immigration bill to Coffman's opposition to it. That's something concrete for confused observers to latch onto. But it's not enough.
We need to know what Coffman's broader immigration proposal is, and if he can't produce one, then it's time for reporters to say, as a factual matter, that Coffman has no comprehensive immigration proposal, despite his rhetoric about favoring one.
Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigMediaBlog