iOS app Android app

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jesse Benn

Jesse Benn

Posted: October 14, 2010 02:38 PM

Republican candidate for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, Cory Gardner, attacked incumbent Congresswoman Betsy Markey over her position on illegal immigration in a recent email sent to supporters.

Markey has said she doesn't believe in amnesty but does believe in a path to citizenship for those currently in the country illegally. Markey addresses immigration on her website.

Markey defined what that path could be in a recent interview with the Coloradoan, "If you meet certain requirements, which include learning English, paying a fine, being employed, not having a criminal record, then there should be a path for you to have status so that we bring people out of the shadows," she said.

This is apparently what prompted the Gardner attack.

"The problem with Markey's position is that 'amnesty' and a 'path to citizenship' is the same thing," the email stated.

"Betsy does not support amnesty, and she's been very clear about that. Gardner's attempt to politicize a serious issue is deeply troubling, and is a sad example of what's wrong with politics," said Markey's press contact Ben Marter. Markey addresses the issue of immigration in depth on her website:

"Our immigration system is in urgent need of reform. Current estimates suggest that there are as many as 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. These immigrants have become integrated into all aspects of our society, from our education system to the workforce."

Despite attempts to contact the Gardner campaign they have not responded to clarify their position.

In the same article, Gardner refused to answer directly if he was in favor of deportation, but he is against amnesty and his campaign email states, "Any proposal that allows people who are here illegally to cut to the front of the line is amnesty," leaving few, if any, alternatives to deporting the 12-20 million people currently in the country illegally.

Aside from this major distinction of Gardner's possible support for deportation, he and Markey appear to have some almost identical positions on the matter.

"Republican challenger Cory Gardner opposes amnesty. According to Gardner, the first step in addressing illegal immigration is to secure the border. He also supports mandatory use of 'E-Verify' so employers can ensure that workers are in the country legally," according to the email.

"She (Markey) believes we need to secure our borders and ensure that our border agents have the resources they need to do their job. Betsy was a primary co-sponsor of the extension of the federal E-Verify program (which is currently optional), and supports making it mandatory," Marter said.