It’s a stark reversal for the 57-year-old congressman, who in 2008 made opposition to immigration reform a central plank of his first campaign for Congress. Coffman succeeded Tom Tancredo, a former GOP presidential candidate who made a name for himself as a virulent critic of illegal immigration.
And it’s no accident that it comes after Coffman’s district was redrawn to include nearly three times the number of Hispanics it had before the 2012 election.
“My district dramatically changed,” the congressman told POLITICO. “In the district I had until last month, there wasn’t a significant Hispanic population, and with the population I had, immigration wasn’t a significant issue. In the district I have now, there is a significant Hispanic population. And meeting with those people really put a face on it.”