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Hickenlooper says Democrats are falling for 'Trump's execrable politics of distraction'

Hickenlooper says Democrats are falling for 'Trump's execrable politics of distraction'
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief K Street navigates virtual inauguration week Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE on Wednesday warned his fellow Democratic candidates to avoid falling for President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE's "politics of distractions" when it comes to immigration and the southern border.

"The way in which most of my competitors for the Democratic nomination have approached the issue of immigration is contrary to both common sense and the goal of achieving meaningful reform," the former Colorado governor wrote in an op-ed for the Miami Herald.

"This is another example of Trump’s execrable politics of distraction that too many of my Democratic colleagues have fallen for — and with alarming consistency."

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Hickenlooper, who is billing himself as a moderate in the 2020 primary, said the issue of immigration, in particular, is something other Democrats have mishandled.

"Most of my fellow Democratic candidates for president have followed Julián Castro’s lead in saying that Section 1325 should be repealed," he wrote, referring to the provision which makes crossing the border illegally a criminal offense. "While their intentions for taking this position are admirable, their logic leaves much to be desired."

"We need to be clear about our priorities: Americans overwhelmingly oppose President Trump’s unconscionable separation of children from their families. They also support by nearly two-thirds a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States illegally," Hickenlooper wrote.

"But here’s the rub: Americans also oppose by 2-1 decriminalizing illegal immigration."

Hickenlooper is currently polling near 1 percent nationally and is at risk of not qualifying for the third Democratic debates in September.