Colorado Calls for Immigration Reform

Last year a agreement to reduce the heat on the immigration debate in Utah garnered national publicity. Called the Utah Compact, it represented an effort to find common ground in that state on an otherwise contentious issue.

Now folks in Colorado are trying to come up with their own sensible solutions. The Colorado Compact was the brainchild of United States Senator Michael Bennet and has the backing of Colorado Gov. John Hickenloper as well as business, education and community leaders. According to local reports:

The short document states Colorado law enforcement officials should focus on criminal activity, not enforcing civil immigration laws, among other principles. It calls for federal solutions to the immigration problem, to strengthen border security and simultaneously allow immigrants to continue working. It also specifically calls for policies that will not break up families through deportation.

“Immigrants are integrated into communities across Colorado,” the current draft of the compact reads. “We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors.”

Efforts like this help keep immigration reform on the agenda for after the 2012 political season.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.