• January 28th, 2023
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Colorado Immigrant Rights Leaders Respond to Parliamentarian Ruling


 On September 19, the United States Senate Parliamentarian ruled that broad pathways to citizenship could not be passed through the Budget Reconciliation Process. This impacts close to 106,000 Coloradans and millions around the country who would have benefited directly.


Democratic lawmakers and the White House are facing pressure to disregard the Senate parliamentarian after the unelected official on Sunday deemed a crucial immigration measure out of bounds for reconciliation, endangering an effort to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of people, reported Common Dreams on Monday.  


We call on our Colorado senators and representatives to continue to show leadership and persistence, standing with undocumented Coloradans and our community to ensure Congress passes a pathway to citizenship this year. Colorado voters and state legislators have transformed our state into one of the most inclusive in the country – we call on you to keep fighting for that vision in DC,” stated Jordan García of the American Friends Service Committee. “Hundreds of our members and their loved ones will march this coming Saturday [Ya Es Hora: March for Citizenship] in Denver to make sure you do.”


Opening a path to citizenship would have significant positive impacts on the economy and the treasury and appears vital to  America’s economic recovery. Undocumented immigrants are vital to the response to the ongoing pandemic, and vital to the continued economic recovery. Citizenship will boost our GDP by $1.5 trillion, generate billions in tax revenue, create 400,000 new jobs, and increase wages for American workers by $600 each year. In September, nearly 60 economists penned a letter to Senate leadership outlining the enormous economic benefits and significant budgetary impact of a pathway to citizenship.


“I am a small business owner and a recipient of the DACA program, whose parents had to immigrate from México due to my Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis which has caused me to depend on my wheelchair. I now reside in Aurora, as I have for the past 15 years,” explained Mario Rocha, member of Colorado People’s Alliance. “I need my Colorado Representatives and Senators to be champions for families like mine and make sure we deliver a pathway to citizenship this year. We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing.”


“To my community,” continued Rocha, “join us this Saturday to march for citizenship for all—for ourselves, for our parents, for Colorado.”


“To my community, join us this Saturday to march for citizenship for all—for ourselves, for our parents, for Colorado.”
Mario Rocha, Colorado People’s Alliance


Adrienne Aguirre Deshaies, Community Organizer with Together Colorado, added: “As a movement, we aren’t deterred. Like millions of immigrants who have given so much, especially during the pandemic, we’ll keep fighting. Like migrant farmworkers who continue the harvest so your family is well fed, we’ll keep fighting. Like immigrant beneficiaries of TPS and DACA, many of whom are frontline workers helping to care for your loved ones, we’ll keep fighting. Like the youth fighting for their parents and siblings—we know they will keep fighting to win a pathway to citizenship. So will we. Now is the time. This is the year to provide a pathway to citizenship for all – Black, brown, Asian Pacific Islanders; asylum seekers, Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, essential workers and their families – we are united.”


The public supports legalizing undocumented community members across party lines. Polls consistently show over 70% of voters support citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


“We remain confident that Congress will pass legislation this year that recognizes the public’s support for undocumented immigrants. The public supports citizenship, the White House supports citizenship, and all the Democrats in Congress support citizenship. As women of color who are often at the forefront of this struggle for equity and justice, we will not waver in our goal to accomplish a path to citizenship for our community members,” said Dusti Gurule, Executive Director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR).


Democrats in Congress have the votes to deliver on their promise of a path to citizenship for millions. A multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational majority put Democrats in the majority when they ran in part on a platform promising to transform immigration laws.


Ya Es Hora: March for Citizenship


Community members from across the state (Lamar, Grand Junction, Fort Morgan, Boulder, Aurora, Denver), Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), American Friends Service Committee of Colorado (AFSC), American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU), Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA), United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF) will march through downtown Denver to call on Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for millions; a large rally will follow the march at Auraria Campus with speeches from directly impacted individuals and state legislators in Colorado, performances from local artists, tables from local organizations, a pop-up clinic with COVID-19 vaccinations, and food vendors.


The Ya Es Hora: March for Citizenship will be held on Saturday, September 25, Marchers will gather at Viking Park, 2801 W. 29th Ave., Denver, at 11am with speeches from impacted individuals. March will begin at 12pm and will proceed for an hour. March will end at 1pm at Auraria Campus: Tivoli Quad. A rally will take place at Auraria Campus from 1pm-3pm.


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