By J Schroyer
A bipartisan political declaration on immigration reform, which aims at pressuring the federal government to pass new immigration legislation, was released Sunday called the “Colorado Compact,” and at least eight of the signatories are prominent Colorado Springs figures.
The compact also includes stances on immigration reform’s relationship to national security, the economy, family and effective law enforcement. The effort was spearheaded by Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown.
The document was signed by dozens of Colorado citizens and organizations, including the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, Colorado College President Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, Colorado Springs Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Broadmoor Hotel President Steve Bartolin, El Pomar Foundation Chairman and CEO Bill Hybl, and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who hails from Colorado Springs.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado also put their names on the document; the organization includes El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.
The federal government must “provide a sensible path forward for immigrants who are here without legal status, are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture,” the document reads.
“This includes a visa system that is both responsive and effective at meeting the demands of our economy. It should also acknowledge the beneficial economic contributions immigrants make as workers, taxpayers, and consumers.”
Colorado’s Evangelical Immigration Table also put out a press release in support of the compact, which quoted Will Stoller-Lee, the director of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs.
“Many of us have grown tired of the strident and divisive tone of the political debate in our country, but the Colorado Compact is a promising initiative to break through the current stalemate and produce a lasting bipartisan solution to the broken immigration system,” Stoller-Lee said.
“There is a rich tradition in the Bible that emphasizes hospitality, both in terms of how we welcome the stranger and immigrant, and also how we engage in discussion with those who start from a different point of view.”
The compact is the result of more than a year of work and over 450 meetings all over Colorado.