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CONCERNING NEEDED FEDERAL AND STATE ACTION TO CREATE A PATH TO LEGAL RESIDENCY FOR COLORADO RESIDENTS ARACELI VELASQUEZ, INGRID ENCALADA LATORRE, SANDRA LOPEZ, AND ROSA SABIDO.


WHEREAS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is focusing its extensive resources on the state of Colorado, and Colorado has the second highest deportation rate in the country, with ICE detentions and arrests doubling in Colorado and Wyoming in the fiscal year 2017; and

WHEREAS, Colorado families, businesses, and local communities are experiencing crisis due to inaction at the federal level; and

WHEREAS, The more than 71,000 United States citizen children whose parents are undocumented Coloradans are powerless to apply for relief; and

WHEREAS, Our current immigration policies bar a path to legal residency for four Colorado women who are representative of thousands of other residents of the state of Colorado; and

WHEREAS, All four women have complied with all requested of them by our immigration system, short of deportation, and participated to the fullest extent in their lives in Colorado; and

WHEREAS, All four women are engaged in extraordinary sacrifice by claiming sanctuary to keep their families together and remain in their communities; and

WHEREAS, All four women have significant and widespread support across Colorado for their significant contributions to our community; and

WHEREAS, Araceli Velasquez arrived in the United States seeking asylum in 2010 and faces a direct threat to her life if forced to return to El Salvador; she and her husband, Jorge, are raising three United States citizen children: Jorge Jr. (6), Christopher (4), and Kevin (2); her previous lawyers did not sufficiently prepare her asylum defense; ICE denied her stay application in 2017; and

WHEREAS, Current law does not allow Araceli's husband, who has Temporary Protected Status, to apply for her to adjust her status, and current law does not allow her to apply through her minor children; and

WHEREAS, Ingrid Encalada Latorre has lived in Colorado more than half her life, arriving at age 17 in 2000; she and her partner, Eliseo, are raising two United States citizen children: Bryant (10) and Anibal (3); Ingrid is a well-known leader across the country and the state; her only infraction has been to work to sustain herself, and even though she completed all restitution and rehabilitation required of her, has expressed deep remorse for the impacts of our laws on the person impacted, and leads an educational campaign known as "No Mas Chuecos", her deportation proceedings continued; and

WHEREAS, Current law does not include a path for Ingrid to apply to adjust her status through her minor children nor through her citizen aunt; it is inhumane to further punish people beyond the penalties imposed by the criminal justice system, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) removed the power of discretion from immigration judges to consider evidence of actual personal character, closing a path to status for mothers like Ingrid; IIRIRA is a failed and inhumane experiment, denying fairness to so many like Ingrid; and

WHEREAS, Sandra Lopez has lived in the United States continuously since 2001; Sandra is a well-known member of the Roaring Fork Valley community in Colorado, living there with her husband and raising their three United States citizen children: Areli (3), Edwin (14), and her oldest son, Alex (20), who completed his first year at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, studying mechanical engineering until having to leave school due to Sandra being in sanctuary; Sandra's deportation proceedings began with a wrongful arrest when one of her young kids dialed 911 and hung up; although all charges were immediately dropped, local police reported Sandra to ICE, and after 10 months in sanctuary, Sandra returned home after ICE delivered a written commitment not to detain Sandra while her motion is pending, but the possibility of her deportation continues; and

WHEREAS, Current law does not allow Sandra to apply to adjust her status through her minor children; immigration proceedings continue against people even when criminal charges are dropped or they are found innocent, and there is no path to legal residency status for long-term residents of Colorado; and

WHEREAS, Rosa Sabido has lived the vast majority of the last 30 years in Colorado with her citizen stepfather and mother; Rosa is well-known and a fixture in southwest Colorado, between her catering business and position as a pool secretary for the Catholic Church; Rosa is the main support for her aging citizen parents; Rosa complied with the terms of ICE's Order of Supervision between 2008 and 2017 and received stays of removal between 2011 and 2017; last year, without explanation, ICE denied her 7th application for a stay; Rosa has been the approved beneficiary of her mother's immigration petition since 2001, but current law has delayed her mother's application for her by 17 years; this summer, Rosa's mother died and Rosa's application through her stepfather is now facing an even longer backlog; it will still be many years before Rosa will be able to adjust to lawful permanent residency; and

WHEREAS, Araceli Velasquez, who claimed sanctuary August 8, 2 2017, at Park Hill United Methodist Church and Temple Micah to keep her family together, has shown that she belongs here; and

WHEREAS, Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who began publicly fighting her case in November 2016 and is currently in sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder to keep her family together, has shown that she belongs here; and

WHEREAS, Sandra Lopez, who began publicly fighting her deportation years ago and claimed sanctuary at the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Parsonage in Carbondale to keep her family together, has shown that she belongs here; and

WHEREAS, Rosa Sabido, who claimed sanctuary in June of 2017 at Mancos United Methodist Church to remain with her aging parents, has shown that she belongs here; and

WHEREAS, The bipartisan Colorado delegation in Congress has a responsibility to work toward solutions and to recognize the contributions of these four women to their communities; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Seventy-second General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That we, the General Assembly, strongly encourage the Colorado Congressional delegation to work to:
(1) Create a path to citizenship for all persons with Temporary Protected and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status;
(2) Maintain our commitment to human rights by protecting asylum seekers;
(3) Restore paths to permanent residency for parents of United States citizen children by repealing IIRIRA; and
(4) Create a transparent and timely path to legal permanent residency and beyond, fulfilling our promise to families, by eliminating quotas that mean decades of waiting for millions of parents and their children. Be It Further Resolved, That we, the General Assembly, strongly encourage the governor, the state, and all of its subdivisions to:
(1) Uphold the United States and Colorado constitutions by requiring ICE to show a judicial warrant before receiving information about or detaining any person in Colorado;
(2) Allow for equal access to the justice system meant to serve all Colorado residents by creating and maintaining a bright line between law enforcement and ICE, including between probation officers and ICE; and
(3) Safeguard Coloradans against IIRIRA's devastating double jeopardy and deportation impacts through public advocacy and mercy. And Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be sent to President Donald Trump; Vice President Mike Pence; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer; Senate President Pro Tempore Charles Grassley; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Colorado's Congressional delegation; and Governor Jared Polis.