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Bipartisan Push for Immigration Reform Intensifies with Colorado Compact

Press Release, December 12, 2012

Leaders Across the Political Spectrum Unite, Urge Congress to Act

Denver — Building on strong bipartisan momentum for immigration reform next year, Colorado leaders across the political spectrum are launching the Colorado Compact, a set of principles to encourage real and lasting federal reform. The effort was spearheaded by Democratic Senator Michael Bennet and Republican former Senator Hank Brown and includes a diverse list of over 100 prominent signers from across the state, including Bennet’s 2010 Republican opponent, Ken Buck.

The Compact outlines six immigration principles to guide the conversation on immigration including keeping families together, having a visa system that responds to economic needs, ensuring our national security and recognizing that immigration policy is a matter that belongs to the federal government. 

The statements below can be attributed to the following speakers at the press conference:

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado:
“Nearly eighteen months ago, we began a journey to chart a new path on immigration, away from the extreme rhetoric then engulfing the national conversation. We knew that the politics playing out on immigration did not represent our state — where Coloradans value working together, despite our differences and backgrounds, to solve problems in the best interests of our people and future generations. We now have the benefit of Colorado’s voice to inform the work of the new Congress. There undoubtedly will be some tough conversations and disagreements ahead, but I am confident that by bringing a little bit of Colorado common sense and grit to Washington, we will fix our immigration system by ensuring it is more aligned with the needs of our economy, families and communities.”

Former Sen. Hank Brown, R-Colorado*:
“Coloradans know how to work together to solve problems and get things done. With the current immigration system hurting so many sectors of our state, I was glad to help lead this effort with Sen. Bennet. The wide-reaching group of signers we’ve assembled is sending a message to Washington that it’s time for action.”

The Honorable Mark Shurtleff (R), Utah Attorney General:
“The Colorado Compact is further proof that momentum is building across the country to finally take a reasonable and bipartisan approach to immigration reform that will protect our borders, help our economy and protect families. We hope these principles would help guide federal legislation and guide our federal government to adopt a pragmatic and uniquely American approach to immigration.”

Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce:
“In Colorado, we effectively focused on the needs of industry and of our workforce and found the economic imperative for immigration solutions. If a politically diverse state like Colorado can take a sensible, nonpartisan path forward on immigration, then Washington should be able to do the same.” 

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:
“The Colorado Compact shines as an example that bipartisan collaboration is possible and that a 21st century immigration process is achievable. Colorado joins the growing chorus of voices outside of Washington who demand a rational and collaborative approach to immigration.”

* Former Sen. Brown was unable to join the press conference but sent a statement.

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