Colorado Center on Law and Policy’s mission is advancing the health, well-being and economic security of low-income Coloradans through research, education, advocacy and litigation. Our work rests on the fundamental assumption that the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government adhere to norms that foster a civil society and the rule of law, and that addressing the needs of those who are most vulnerable and least able to do so themselves is a fundamental role of government.
We are disheartened at actions the Trump administration is taking, such as refusing entry to the United States of refugees fleeing war, economic privation and political retaliation for the assistance they have provided to the United States government; ordering executive agencies not to further the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; ordering that federal funds be withheld from cities that do not cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and expanding deportation priorities to those who have committed minor offenses whether or not they have actually been criminally charged. Some of these actions may not be constitutional and the executive branch may not have the legal authority to implement them without Congressional action or additional administrative processes. Nonetheless, they set a disturbing precedent for the approach and intentions of the Trump administration.
CCLP has worked for almost 20 years to assure that those with the least power and the fewest economic resources have access to health care, shelter and sustenance, are able to live a life of dignity, and have some measure of economic security. President Trump’s directive to federal agencies regarding the Affordable Care Act, while unclear as to its effect, undermines the progress toward universal health care made during the past six years. CCLP believes the Affordable Care Act should be strengthened, not repealed. President Trump’s orders regarding “sanctuary cities” seek to coerce local governments to withhold services and undermine basic public safety for people without documented immigration status. Concerned that law enforcement officers will facilitate their deportation, undocumented immigrants will not report crimes — even when they are being victimized. The vast expansion of priorities for deportation established by the Trump administration would remove from the United States people with minor infractions or whose only offense was seeking a better life for themselves and their families.
Most troubling, however, is the President’s issuance of a ban on immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries who are seeking safety and freedom in the United States of America. In the words of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, “They lower our estimation in the eyes of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then shuts its doors on them.” Instead of offering hope to innocent people who have been caught in the cross hairs of conflicts in which they have no fight, our country is closing the door in response to unfounded fears.
Regardless of these actions, CCLP will continue working towards our vision of an inclusive economy, affordable health care, and a humane society. We invite you to join us in that effort.
– By Claire Levy