AJC Colorado Lauds Launch of "Colorado Compact" Immigration Initiative

December 10, 2012 – Denver -- Over the past two years, the Colorado regional office of AJC brought together an ideologically diverse group of state leaders from the business, agriculture, law enforcement, academic, political and faith communities to develop a consensus-based declaration of principles on comprehensive immigration reform based on humanitarian and free-market values. This initiative was part of AJC’s national Bridging America Project, supported by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation. During a press conference hosted last Sunday at the University of Denver by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D) and former U.S. Senator Hank Brown (R), this declaration of principles embodied in the “Colorado Compact” was unveiled. To underscore the broad support for this initiative, Bennet and Brown were joined by Governor John Hickenlooper, former Governor Bill Ritter, U.S. Senator Mark Udall, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, former Denver Mayor and U.S. Secretary Federico Pena and former Denver Mayor Bill Vidal.

“We should offer special appreciation to the American Jewish Committee in this effort [on behalf of the Colorado Compact]. Its early work was instrumental to paving the way forward.” Said Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

AJC Colorado President Donald Yale, who attended the press conference (pictured above, in front of Rep. Perlmutter and next to DU Chancellor Robert Coombe and Sec. Pena), states that “AJC is determined to foster a more rational and collaborative approach to permanently repair our nation’s broken immigration system.”

When AJC was founded in 1906, one of its top priorities was to promote fair treatment for newly-arrived Jewish immigrants and policies that enabled eastern European Jews to come to America. Yale notes that “throughout its history, AJC has supported fair and generous immigration laws as a core Jewish value, growing out of our tradition that ‘strangers are to be welcomed’ and that we were once ‘strangers in the land of Egypt.’ The tragedy of Jews being turned away from our borders during the last century at their time of greatest need resulted from grossly unfair and unjust immigration laws. This unforgiveable experience in U.S history informs and inspires our mission here today.”

The Colorado Compact features the following six principles that lay the foundation for national immigration reform: (1) Immigration policy is a federal, not state, responsibility; (2) The principles of a free-market system and individual freedom will best serve the needs of businesses and employees; (3) Protecting our national security and borders is an utmost priority; (4) Families should be allowed to remain close together; (5) Law enforcement should target serious criminal activity and safeguard victims and witnesses; and (6) Immigrants who are here without legal status and who are of good character, pay taxes and committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture should be provided with a common-sense path forward.

To join the growing list of organizational and individual signatories to the Colorado Compact, visit http://www.coloradocompact.com.
Copyright 2014/2015 AJC