Bennet, Colorado Community Leaders Celebrate Passage of Bipartisan Immigration Bill

Leaders Call on House to Pass a Bill

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today joined members of Colorado’s faith, Latino, business, agriculture, government, and law enforcement communities to celebrate the Senate’s recent passage of a comprehensive bill that fixes our broken immigration system.

Participants at the rally, listed below, praised the work of the bipartisan ‘Group of 8,’ of which Bennet is a member, and called on the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform.

“Seven months ago we came together to launch the Colorado Compact to send a message to Washington that it was time to fix our immigration system. The Senate got the message and the groups here today played an important role helping us shape the bill,” Bennet said.

“The bill we passed will strengthen our economy, reduce the deficit, and secure our borders. It provides relief for businesses and protects American workers. It will reunite families and provide a path to citizenship for millions of people who are living in the shadows. My thanks goes to everyone who made their voice heard. Now, I hope the House of Representatives will take a serious look at the Senate bill and work constructively to pass legislation this summer.”

The Senate passed the sweeping bill Thursday in a broad bipartisan vote of 68-32. The bill makes important reforms to an outdated visa system that protects American workers, provides significantly more tools and resources to secure the border, establishes a sensible system for the future flow of immigration and creates a tough but fair path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

The ‘Group of 8’ worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to craft the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which was introduced in April. The bill underwent an extensive consideration process in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where members of the Committee debated amendments for over 30 hours. In the end, hundreds of amendments were filed and considered with dozens from both sides of the aisle accepted. The bill advanced out of the committee with a bipartisan 13-5 vote.

The bill now awaits consideration by the House of Representatives. The strong bipartisan vote in the Senate is expected to put pressure on that body to act on the legislation.

Participants at the rally included:

U.S. Senator Mark Udall

Ken Salazar, Former U.S. Senator and Department of Interior Secretary

Carolyn Tyler, Public Information Officer for Attorney General John Suthers

John Brackney, President and CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce

Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Kevin Hougen, President and CEO, Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Angelique Espinoza, Public Affairs Manager, Boulder Chamber of Commerce

Daniel Ritchie, Colorado Concern

Gail Klapper, Director, Colorado Forum

Melanie Mills, President and CEO, Ski Country USA

Cathy Shull, Executive Director, Progressive 15

Dave Petrocco, Petrocco Farms, Brighton, CO

Kent Peppler, President, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Brent Boydston, Colorado Farm Bureau

Michael and Glenn Hirakata, Hirakata Farms, Rocky Ford Growers Association

Eric Hanagan, Rocky Ford Growers Association

Mary Kraft, Quail Ridge Dairy, Colorado Dairy Farmers

Sharon Harris, Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association

Alex Alvarado, DREAMer, Carbondale, CO

Dr. Daniel Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary

Sharon Leader, President, Denver Area Labor Federation

Howard Arnold, Business Manager, Pipefitters Local 208

Lauren Martens, State Council Director, SEIU Local 105