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Afternoon Headlines June 16, 2017

Posted: June 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm by , in Headlines

Amid a battle cry by some conservatives following reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, Colorado GOP Congressman Mike Coffman says he has confidence in the former FBI chief.

“I think Mueller will do a professional job,” Coffman said Wednesday evening. The fifth-term congressman from Aurora, who is a member of a bipartisan caucus called the Problem Solvers, told a caller in a telephone town hall last night that he doesn’t believe his colleagues in the House or Senate can adequately handle inquiries into TrumpWorld.

“I think it’s such a zoo, this whole political circus of these committees looking into the administration and Russia and the potential obstruction of justice and those issues,” he said. “And that’s why I called for an independent counsel or a special prosecutor early. That’s where it needs to be moved. These investigations— since we now have an independent counsel that is in place, Mr. Mueller— that’s where this needs to take place.”

Coffman called those on congressional investigative committees “grandstanding politicians,” adding, “the most dangerous place in Washington, D.C. is between one of these people and a TV camera.” Coffman’s defense of Mueller came fewer than 12 hours before former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasted Mueller as the “tip of the deep state spear” aimed at President Trump. Trump Advisor Kellyanne Conway— and Trump himself— have cast doubts on Mueller.

Colorado immigrant rights groups reacted today with cautious appreciation for the decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to continue a program that provides work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants brought here as children.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the implementation of immigration policy, said that it would continue to issue work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, known as DACA [Dah-kuh}. The decision marks a reversal by Trump who said during his campaign that he would end DACA.

The Obama-era program began five years ago and roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants are now working under its auspices. Colorado is home to about 30,000 undocumented immigrants who are eligible for the program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Marco Dorado, a 25-year-old DACA recipient who has lived in the U.S. since he was three years old, says that while he wants to be excited and happy about the administration’s announcement, the relief he feels is tempered by the fact that administration has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to deport almost anyone its immigration agents come across.

“So, for me it was like, ‘This is really great, but what’s the tradeoff?’ Yes, 800,000 of us will continue to be protected, but we don’t exist in a vacuum,” Dorado told The Colorado Independent. “What happens to our siblings who may not qualify or our parents or other members of our community who might still be in limbo?”

The administration also announced that it would drop a similar, but not yet implemented program that would have provided the same protection to the undocumented parents of children who are DACA recipients or U.S. citizens.

Denver’s Westwood neighborhood on Thursday celebrated the opening of a new pocket park— and another step in a four-year-long journey to destroy the dangerous, blighted Thriftway building and replace it with a safe community space.

Children with Westwood Unidos and Groundbreak Denver celebrated the opening by playing on the new futsal court and lounging around the new community space, drinking Capri-suns and sharing food.

Ultimately, residents said, the park stands as a victory for the neighborhood and is the work of people like Maria Brambila, the Community Connector at Westwood Unidos, who has been a resident of Westwood for more than 20 years. She helped organize Westword Unidos’ outreach to figure out what families wanted in the space

Councilman Paul Lopez, who represents the area, discussed the history of the old Thriftway Building, which was a shop he used to frequent as a child. The shop turned into a laundromat, whose owners became negligent and allowed the building to slowly deteriorate. The building became a danger to those nearby, including children at a day care bordering the building.

Westwood is undergoing a mini-construction boom with multiple construction sites bordering the park itself. The neighborhood, which south and west of Alameda and Federal boulevards, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver, but because its housing remains affordable, it is also considered by the city to be vulnerable to gentrification.

For more on these and other news stories go to ColoradoIndependent.com.