One Zoom Call At A Time
It goes without saying that 2020 has been challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of life in Colorado while our state’s immigrants and communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the crisis. Though CIRC’s offices remain closed, we are working as hard as ever remotely to continue the fight for the well-being of all Coloradans. We have made important progress in our campaigns, advocacy, and relief work this year, and we are very excited for the 2020 Member Assembly that will convene virtually in July to select next year’s legislative campaign goals. Meanwhile, we continue to fight for immigrant justice one zoom call at a time.
A Victory for DACA
On June 18, the Supreme Court delivered a surprise victory for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a 5-4 ruling the Court said the Trump administration’s rescission of the program was “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling restores DACA to its original format from 2012 which opens the possibility for first-time applications once again. We know the USCIS must comply with the Supreme Court’s decision by resuming acceptance of new first time DACA and Advance Parole applications, but it is still unclear how and when that will happen.
While we wait for guidance from the USCIS, we take a moment to celebrate this decision! The DACA program has given hundreds of thousands of young Americans a chance for a future. CIRC and our partner organizations have fought tirelessly for three years for this decision. Even though the DACA program survives, we know that it is only a temporary band-aid. Our undocumented community will not be safe until permanent comprehensive immigration reform provides everyone a path to citizenship. We will not stop until this is a reality.
More Resources: http://coloradoimmigrant.org/our-work/reform-implementation/no_rewrite=true
Help us fight for Immigration Reform: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-to-circ/no_rewrite=true
Legislative Wins to Celebrate
This year’s legislative session was severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s legislators faced a catastrophic budget crisis due to the pandemic, and the normally months-long session had to be condensed into just a few short weeks. Despite these challenges, CIRC was able to support the passage of several important bills that will protect immigrants and help our communities thrive in Colorado. Here is some of the progress that we made:
Relief for Workers Left Behind
As unemployment has skyrocketed with COVID-19, tens of thousands of unemployed Coloradans have been unable to access vital financial aid, unemployment insurance, and stimulus checks because of their immigration status. To address this urgent humanitarian need, CIRC has partnered with Impact Charitable to create the Left Behind Workers Fund. This fund has begun distributing cash grants to thousands of individuals and families across the state. We are seeking to rapidly grow this fund to serve the thousands of more people in need. Our immigrant community needs help today.
Learn More: https://www.impactcharitable.org/workers-fund
Expanding Access to Driver’s Licenses
Though access to driver’s licenses has officially been available to undocumented immigrants since 2014, only a small number of DMVs offered this service. Very few of Colorado’s undocumented community have been able to access this vital resource – until now. The
I Drive Colorado/Yo Manejo Colorado campaign, led by CIRC, is working to ensure that every undocumented Coloradan can access a driver’s license.
Last year, we helped expand the number of DMV offices offering driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants to a total of 11 across the state, finally bringing access to this program to rural areas in Colorado including new offices in Glenwood Springs, Durango, Montrose, Lamar, Pueblo, Alamosa and Ft. Morgan. We also launched a community certification program with the DMV where our trained coalition partners work with the DMV directly to secure appointments for community members, and we’ve continued to push the DMV to make reforms so that this program can be easily accessed by everyone. We are committed to ensuring that this program continues to expand to every corner of our great state.
Learn More: https://www.informedimmigrant.com/guides/colorado-sb251-drivers-license/
Protecting Data from ICE
We know that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targets our communities by accessing their personal information, so protecting sensitive data from ICE is a key first step for ensuring the safety of immigrants in Colorado. This spring, we took an important first step to make this a reality. On May 20th, Governor Polis passed an executive order which establishes reporting requirements so that we can better understand and track information sharing between our state agencies and ICE. This will be a first step in building our understanding of how ICE accesses and relies on state agency data to do enforcement and what we need to do to better protect everyone’s privacy. However, we have a lot more work to do to ensure that everyone’s data is protected. This fight is just beginning.
Immigrant Justice Starts With You
Since 2002, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition has made tremendous strides to create a more welcoming and just place for immigrants to call home. Our movement can only progress with the help of supporters like you.. Please donate today!
Donate Today: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-to-circ/