To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article, “Immigration tour comes to Colorado” (Catherine Tsai, 6/14/09). Thank you for your coverage of this amazing event. I was lucky enough to be there last Saturday, where we listened to Congressmen Jared Polis of Colorado and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, the Archbishop of Denver, and faith leaders speak on this hugely important issue.
Our enforcement-only immigration policy is not only unjust and inhumane; it is also clearly not working. We have a massive underclass of people living and working in this country, and paying taxes, without documentation. More importantly, they don’t have a means to obtain documentation under the current system, and there is bipartisan agreement that this must change. We now have four million citizen children in this county whose parents are undocumented and live constantly in fear of arrest, detention and deportation. Last Saturday we heard from two of these children, brothers aged twelve and fifteen, who came home from school one day to find that their parents had been detained by ICE and are now in deportation proceedings. The children are both U.S. citizens and Coloradans, and there was not a dry eye in the house when the twelve year-old sobbed at the podium describing what his family is going through.
We also heard from Michelle Carpenter, a teacher at Boulder High, who told heartbreaking stories about children in our own community who are suffering under the current laws. Business and labor leaders, and Democrats and Republicans, agree that the current system needs an overhaul. Let’s respectfully let our president and federal representatives know that this has to happen this year.
I would also like to note that although the article stated 600 people were in attendance, the organizers who oversaw the signing-in process estimate between 1200 and 1600 people were there.