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News in Immigration: Colorado Senate Passes Bipartisan Immigration Reform Resolution, And Other Stories

 

With the release of the Senate immigration bill last week and multiple hearings since then, it’s been a busy time in the world of immigration reform.  Here are some of the stories we wanted to make sure you haven’t missed.

  • Nearly the entire Colorado Senate today passed a bipartisan resolution urging Congress to pass immigration reform.  The vote tally was 33-2, with around a dozen Republicans voting in favor.  Remarks on the Senate floor recognized the importance of immigrants’ contributions to the social and economic fabric of the state of Colorado while acknowledging that the federal government’s inability to enact immigration reform has led to a patchwork of state laws that inadequately address immigration-related problems.

    As the sponsor of the resolution, state Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) said: “It is important that we come together, Democrats and Republicans, to urge Congress to address one of the biggest issues facing our country today.  We need reform that is fair and humane, provides a roadmap to citizenship, strengthens our national security, protects American workers, and helps our economy thrive.”

    The resolution will move on to the Colorado House of Representatives, where it is expected to further gain bipartisan support.  If it passes, the resolution will be delivered to the US Speaker of the House, President of the US Senate, members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, and the Governor of Colorado.

  • Last week, over 100 current and former state attorney generals sent letters urging House and Senate leaders to move quickly on immigration reform.  The attorney generals made clear that they support common-sense immigration reform that secures our borders, keeps families together, addresses the 11 million aspiring Americans already living in the country, and improves public safely.

    As Mark Shurtleff, the former Republican Attorney General of Utah and a witness at Monday’s Senate Judiciary hearing on the bill, said in a statement, “With these two letters, the nation’s attorneys general signal the need for broad immigration reform that corrects the many harms caused by the current immigration system.  From improving border security to rebuilding trust between undocumented immigrants and their local law enforcement officers, the time is now to address these problems.”

  • The Sunflower Community Action group, a pro-immigrant grassroots organization, was also out in force this week at Monday’s Judiciary Committee hearing.  Fifty activists took a 22-hour-bus ride from Wichita, Kansas to Washington, DC for the hearing, where their Secretary of State (and opponent in immigration reform) Kris Kobach was testifying.  In their press conference outside the hearing, immigrants with Sunflower told their stories, advocated for the bill’s path to citizenship, and pressed legislators to pass a law that protects immigrant families.  The group also criticized Kobach’s statements, in which he doubled-down on self-deportation and called it “not some radical idea.”
  • The Mark Zuckerberg-backed super PAC, FWD.us, launched its first wave of TV ads advocating for immigration reform this week, specifically trying to shore up support for immigration reform among those on the right.  Fwd.us and its subsidiary group, the Americans for a Conservative Direction, will spend seven figures to run ads—mainly featuring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)—in more than half a dozen states.