|Denver, CO – Immigrant rights and community organizations held a candlelight healing vigil in response to Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner voting to reopen the government rather than fight for the Dream Act, despite being cosponsors of the bill. The vigil implored voters to keep the pressure on both Senators who buckled under GOP pressure without a resolution to TPS or DREAM. “Dreamers and our communities will remember this failure at the polls” said Cristian Solano-Córdova, Dreamer and spokesperson for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC).
Dreamers from CIRC, Mi Familia Vota, and Colorado People’s Alliance spoke at the rally as well as several students during an open-mic portion. Several dreamers expressed their disappointment in both parties and the incumbent political system.
“What happens to a Dream deferred?,” a Dreamer asked the crowd, reading the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes. “It doesn’t dry up, shrivel up, rot or sag like in the poem. My deferred dream will eventually explode… and take any limitations this society has imposed on us with it. We will continue to fight and escalate for our legislators to hear our Dreams. The majority of the American public is with us.”
“We cannot keep funding the government through stop-gap measures while Congress keeps thrusting Dreamers and TPS recipients into a life of uncertainty — all to appease a President that is intent on enshrining his principles of white supremacy into our immigration system.” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of CIRC.
“This is the battle for America’s soul and moral high ground: will we decide we are a nation that values character and contributions or will we decide we are a nation that determines an individual’s value by the color of their skin or birthplace?” she said.
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide, membership-based coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth, community, business and ally organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly state. CIRC achieves this mission through non-partisan civic engagement, public education, and advocating for workable, fair and humane immigration policies.