A “sanctuary caravan” will make multiple stops in the Denver area today, calling for new immigration policies that would end funding the “deportation machine” that threatens not only four immigrant women who are living in sanctuary in Colorado but also millions of other immigrants across the U.S.
The focus of the caravan, sponsored by the left-leaning Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) and American Friends Service Committee, is Colorado’s congressional delegation, with an emphasis today on U.S. Senators Cory Gardner, a Republican, and Michael Bennet, a Democrat. The group plans rallies this afternoon at both Gardner’s (at 1 p.m.) and Bennet’s (at 2:45 p.m.).
A stop is also planned at the Aurora headquarters of Republican Congressman Mike Coffman.
The lawmakers will be asked to commit to a “People’s Resolution,” which calls on Congress to “create legal permanent residency for Temporary Protected Status and DACA holders; protect asylum seekers; restore access to legal permanent residency for parents of U.S. citizen children and repeal the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) which limited judicial discretion and criminalized migration; and eliminate quotas that mean decades of waiting for millions of people trying to change their immigration status,” according to a news release.
At 4:30 p.m. today, after stops at the congressional offices, the caravan will hold a news conference followed by a potluck at the Park Hill Methodist Church and Temple Micah.
“We’ve organized across the state to protect our communities and establish that Congress can take concrete steps now to create a path to citizenship. Our communities and our families insist we belong here and that the Colorado congress people take action now,” said Araceli Velasquez, a sanctuary leader who has been advocating for her family from sanctuary for 13 months, via a news release.
“ICE has been a destructive force for many communities across the nation and within the state.,“ stated Eduardo Gomez from COPA. “We need our policy makers to commit to defunding ICE to see the war against immigrant communities come to an end, and the people’s resolution is holding them accountable to do so.”
“We know this administration is willing to rob Peter to pay Paul, as evidenced by recent revelations that ICE has opened ten new, and hidden, detention facilities with money stolen from other agencies. Congress should be outraged by the deliberate efforts of the Trump Administration to undermine oversight and the power of the purse and act immediately to abolish ICE and create real paths to status,” said Jennifer Piper of the American Friends Service Community, also via a news release.
In defending his immigration policies, Trump has said immigrants pose a threat to the U.S. and should not be forgiven for entering the country illegally.