Celebrated May Day By Supporting Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Supporters from labor, immigrant, faith, youth and community groups rallied and marched in support of comprehensive, common sense, immigration reform today, beginning on the Capitol west steps ending at Denver’s Sunken Garden Park, renamed “Citizenship Park” for the day. Wearing white and waving American flags, the crowd made their case for comprehensive, common sense immigration reform.
“It’s important that we honor our hardworking, immigrant neighbors who aspire to become citizens today, on International Workers Day,” said Maggie Gomez, 9to5 National Association of Working Women Organizer. “It’s time for Congress to pass comprehensive, common sense immigration reform that will make our country stronger and more secure through an earned path to citizenship.”
A recent Small Business Majority poll shows that 85 percent of small business owners favor the bipartisan Senate immigration reform plan. The Colorado Fiscal Institute estimates that reform would add $760 million in new spending in Colorado’s economy, while the Colorado Center on Law and Policy published a report estimating that for every 10 undocumented workers deported, eight other Colorado workers would lose their jobs.
“Colorado’s economy is stronger when business can hire the best and the brightest, but right now our nation’s immigration process doesn’t allow us to do that,” said Mike Ferrufino, Vice President/ General Manager, KBNO Radio 1280AM “Colorado’s business leaders agree that comprehensive immigration reform is a high priority for getting our economy humming again.”
Faith leaders and immigrants themselves detailed the human costs of the broken immigration system, including children in mixed immigration status homes separated from their parents, promising students denied affordable college tuition and the indignity of living in fear among the shadows.
“Every day I am afraid that my family will be separated because of our mixed immigration status,” said Claudia Esquibel, SEIU Local 105 member “All of us want to come out of the shadows, become proud citizens and be able to fully contribute to our communities and our country.”
Timed to coincide with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s mark up of the comprehensive, common sense immigration reform, rallies were also held in Grand Junction and Pueblo on Sat., April 27, 2013 and in Greeley today. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates there are 180,000 immigrant residents without documentation in Colorado.
Coloradans for Citizenship Now is a coalition of eight organizations – Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Colorado Latino Forum, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rights for all People/Derechos Para Todos, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 and Together Colorado – advocating for comprehensive immigration reform with an earned and rapid path to citizenship that is not tied to border security for the 11 million aspiring citizens in the United States. Colorado AFL-CIO, 9to5 Association of Working Women, Colorado Latino Forum, Denver Area Labor Federation, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, Colorado Fair Share, FRESC: Good Jobs Strong Communities, Bend the Arc, American Friends Service Committee, Move On and Escuela Tlateloco also sponsored the Denver event.