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Colorado DREAMer: ASSET is Great, But We Need Federal Reform For our Families

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Colorado DREAMer Fabian Dominguez wrote a great op-ed in the Denver Post about what the Colorado ASSET bill means to him:

Last month, when I sat in the gallery of the state Capitol to see the Colorado ASSET bill finally pass after 10 years of trying, it was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It felt like when you stand in a dark room and let the light in. It was as if a whole new world of opportunity was placed in front of me.

The Colorado ASSET bill (which is currently awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature) will allow young immigrants like me to afford college by paying the same tuition rates as our fellow students who were born here.

But as Fabian points out, ASSET isn’t enough. He wants his representatives to pass immigration reform to protect his mother:

I would like to thank all the state legislators, both Democrat and Republican, who voted for the ASSET bill. Thanks to you I will be able to provide the life for my family that I feel they deserve. But now I ask my leaders in Congress, Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, and Rep. Mike Coffman, to fight for immigration reform.

As dreamers, we’ve been fighting for the chance to become citizens, but our parents have dreams, too. My mother has given me all that she could in life, so it’s my turn to fight for her. She’s not a criminal for seeking to feed her children and put a roof over our heads. My family has been in this country for 17 years already, building a life and we feel like Americans now in everything but paperwork. We don’t want to wait decades more to assume the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

A long path or one that’s contingent on arbitrary measures of border security means we could wait forever. That’s why my community, my family and I are asking to earn our path to citizenship in seven years. With a clear and direct path, my family and the 11 million of us across the country can become the Americans we already are in our hearts.

Fabian is right, of course. His Senators, Sens. Mike Bennet and Mark Udall (both Democrats from Colorado) have vowed to fight for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.  A key Colorado Representative, Mike Coffman (R) isn’t there yet (he supports legal status, not citizenship.)  But he needs to get there soon, and constituents who think so will make sure he hears from them.