Last updated on: 1/21/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

Mike Coffman Biography

Title:
US House Representative (R-CO)
Position:
Pro to the question "Should the Government Allow Immigrants Who Are Here Illegally to Become US Citizens?"
Reasoning:

“A comprehensive immigration reform proposal must incorporate three essential elements: it must secure our borders and provide for the effective enforcement of our immigration laws; it must contribute to the economic growth of our country; and it must be compassionate in keeping families together…

Removing the incentives for employers to hire people who are in this country illegally should be an essential element of any comprehensive proposal. To help enforce our laws, employers must have access and be required to use an electronic system, such as E-Verify, where they can quickly and accurately verify the legal status of each job applicant. Employers should be subject to stiff fines and criminal prosecution should they knowingly hire workers in this country illegally…

Reform efforts should facilitate a more fluid and workable visa authorization system so that temporary workers for both low- and highly skilled positions can obtain and renew work permits. Seasonal temporary work, such as in agriculture, needs a robust system that allows the workers, without their families, to come into our country when they are needed and then go home after their seasonal work is done. For those on student visas in technical fields critical to our economy, we should allow them to stay and work in the United States after they graduate.

Lastly, comprehensive immigration reform must show compassion to the families that have been here regardless of their immigration status. Many have either children who were born here and are American citizens or children who grew up here, went to school here, and who know of no other country besides the United States. I believe that these young people should be afforded a pathway to citizenship. The adults who knowingly broke our immigration laws but who have otherwise not violated any criminal laws should be provided a temporary provisional residency. This would constitute a probationary status that would be rescinded if certain requirements — such as criminal background checks, paying taxes, and independence from public assistance — are not met…”

“The Time for Immigration Reform Is Now,” denverpost.com, July 21, 2013

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with advanced degrees in fields relevant to immigration. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to immigration.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member, US House Armed Services Committee, Veteran’s Affairs Committee (Chairman for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations), and Committee on Small Business
  • US House Representative (R-CO), Jan. 3, 2009-present
  • Colorado State Secretary of State, 2007-2008
  • Colorado State Treasurer, 1999-2007
  • Civil Affairs Officer, Iraq, 2005-2006
  • Former Chairman, Colorado State Senate Finance Committee
  • Former Colorado State Senator, 1994-1998
  • Former Colorado State House Representative, 1989-1994
  • Founder and senior share holder, property management company (Aurora, CO), 1983-2000
  • Former Infantry Officer, US Marine Corps
  • Served in the US Army, US Army Reserve, and US Marine Corps Reserve
Education:
  • Completed Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Graduated, University of Colorado, 1979
  • Attended University of Veracruz (Xalapa, Mexico), 1977
  • Attended D.G. Vaishnav College (Chennai, India) 1976
  • Attended University of Colorado, 1974-1975
  • Attended Aurora Central High School (CO)
Other:
  • The only veteran in the Colorado House of Representatives and the only Member of Congress to have served in both the Gulf and Iraq Wars
  • Attends Faith Presbyterian Church (Aurora, CO)
  • Married Cynthia Honssinger, 2005
  • Twitter handle: @RepMikeCoffman