Getting answers about Immigration Reform is like using a Magic 8 ball

Following on from my immigration question, I promised to update you if I heard from Senator Michael Bennet again. Initially I asked the Senator to clarify the language in his proposal for immigration reform – the one that said “immigrants” who got PhDs in the US would then be automatically granted a greencard. I pointed out that students who legally were in the US under visas were on non-immigrant visas, and that therefore they were not covered in the proposal. In fact, if this is the case, you’re better off being an illegal immigrant than being a legal visa holder. I asked him to respond.

The Senator’s first reply said he shared my concerns about protecting the borders of the US, blah blah… but absolutely nothing about the question I asked.

So I sent him another email, telling him he’d missed answering my question which was really pretty straightforward, and inviting him to try again.

I am seriously concerned about his ability to read English. That or he is like a Magic 8 ball – no matter what you ask him, you’ll get similar versions of the same form letter response, and only part of it might have a little bit to do with the general topic you’re enquiring about.

If you live in Colorado and can vote, you should be outraged. It’s not okay for a Senator – the representative of the people – to not listen to what people bring to him. It’s not okay for him to ignore questions and instead send back responses that come from a kind of email lottery repository. In any case, here’s his second response:

Dear Joanne:

Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate hearing from you.

The input of fellow Coloradans is essential in my consideration of the wide variety of important legislation and issues that come before the Senate each year.  I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns throughout my term as your Senator.

I will continue to work hard to best represent the priorities of Coloradans and all Americans in a thoughtful and independent manner.

I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at Again, thank you for contacting me.



Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator

Please do not reply to this message. If you would like to send a message to Senator Bennet, please submit a form at Thank you.

Now many will tell me that this kind of thing is to be expected from a politician. You can’t get a straight answer out of them anyway, and then there are nuances in language which purposely show an intent of one thing, but actually mean another.

But that’s not acceptable. Just because it’s not surprising, doesn’t make it okay.

I wish that mainstream media would hunt down real responses on this from the Senator, and not sit down and let Colorado’s people be taken for a ride. I don’t like that people think I’ll be getting a green card when I finish my PhD if they support this proposal. I won’t, and neither will any foreign PhD student who is actually jumping through all the hoops and obeying the laws of your country.

photo credit (woman PhD graduate): Reciprocal of Phi Photography via photopin cc


  • This is totally unacceptable. But most assuredly, Senator Bennett never saw your letter or most likely the majority of any letters which are sent to him. He has “people” that do that for him. Perhaps writing an editorial to a newspaper would garner more attention….

  • Hi Vickie! I completely agree that he personally probably didn’t respond – but you know what? His bloody (digital) signature is on the message, and it says it’s from him, so I’m holding him accountable. Personally.

  • Go to his office in person. Talk to the staffer. This is the way that political discourse happens. It’s not direct with the Senator. Your comments/concerns will become part of the brief he gets from the staffer. HE almost certainly has one person whose full time job is immigration. THat’s the person you want.

  • I was forced to use the telephone. Happily, the staffer understood my concerns and is contacting the Washington Office for clarifications on the language in the proposal. She’s calling me back later today. (Yep, she’s a she. And I have stepped away from the cliff.)

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