Voces Unidas calls on Senator Hickenlooper to keep his promises to the immigrant community
Voces Unidas joined more than 45 organizations and hundreds of leaders from across Colorado calling on Senator Hickenlooper to keep his promises to the immigrant community and to lead on immigration reform.
Here's the open letter sent to Senator Hickenlooper:
The message U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper sent on February 4, 2021, with his vote to block vital stimulus payments to undocumented immigrants was loud and clear: I only care about you when I'm campaigning. After four years of relentless cruelty to our immigrant communities, Sen. Hickenlooper took a position to continue the egregious attack on immigrants by voting to deny stimulus funds and financial relief to U.S. residents with an undocumented status.
Sen. Hickenlooper’s campaign page highlights his past actions as Governor of Colorado to address immigration challenges by granting in-state tuition to DREAMers, granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, and opposing Trump's horrific decision to end DACA. Yet, in the midst of a public health crisis that has disproportionately impacted immigrant communities and people of color, the Senator made his own cruel decision. Sen. Hickenlooper voted to deny financial relief to nurses, teachers, farm workers, grocery store employees, janitors, parents and community members who continue to risk their health to secure essential services.
On the same day that Sen. Hickenlooper voted against offering economic contributions to the immigrant community, Governor Jared Polis released the first annual Colorado “New American Integration Initiative” report that highlighted the economic contributions made to our state by the immigrant community. Notably, $19.7 billion was spent by tourists in 2016 alone — while Sen. Hickenlooper was Colorado’s Governor — with immigrant workers providing a quarter of the workforce to meet traveler’s accommodations in tourism.
Approximately 19.8 million immigrant essential workers currently risk their lives under the constant threat of exposure. It’s been proven that immigrants are essential to Denver’s rapid response efforts and especially vulnerable due to gaps in federal relief packages, language access barriers, and increased risks of infection associated with frontline and essential work.
In the end, while this anti-immigrant amendment is dead, Sen. Hickenlooper’s symbolic vote remains on record — the message it sends is unacceptable. Sen. Hickenlooper campaigned on a promise to represent all Coloradans and help keep everyone safe, but his actions Thursday broke that promise. The senator’s “aye” vote to deny critical relief to people who need it most was an affront to every essential worker, every immigrant, and every Coloradan. It is not enough to praise people as essential. We must treat each other as such through our actions.
The Senator must immediately commit to supporting Colorado’s impacted communities, and take every opportunity to deliver necessary aid and protection to all Coloradans. Past promises and platitudes are not enough. If the Senator truly is "committed to reversing the Trump Administration’s harmful immigration agenda and helping to restore humanity to a broken system," he needs to do better than he did last Thursday. We need a senator who truly is “laser-focused on getting us through the pandemic, rebuilding the economy and finding a long-term solution to fix our broken immigration system.” We need Sen. Hickenlooper to keep his promise.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
ACLU of CO
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action Fund
Aurora Mental Health Center
Black Lives Matter 5280
Caravan For Racial Justice
Casa de Paz
Center for Health Progress
Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores
CLLARO: Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, & Research Organization
COLOR Action Fund
Colorado Freedom Fund
Colorado Jobs with Justice
Colorado People's Action
Colorado People's Alliance
Defiende Nuestra Tierra
Denver Alliance for Street Health Response (DASHR)
El Movimiento Sigue
Fort Collins Community Action Network
Hispanic Women of Weld County
Immigrant Legal Center of BOCO
ISAAC - Interfaith Solidarity and Accompaniment Coalition
Latino Coalition of Weld County
Mary of Magdala ECC
Mujeres de Colores
NAACP Boulder County
New Era Colorado
Northern Colorado Immigrants United
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Progress Now Colorado