Letter: Now’s the time for immigration reform
Last week, Aspen hosted the Roaring Fork Immigration Forum. Special thanks go out to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the Aspen Institute for sponsoring the event and to the many businesses and chamber offices down the valley that provided support. Thanks also go out to the speakers and participants and to all who attended the event.
The forum highlighted the need for immigration reform and focused on the estimated 10 million undocumented people who are employed and providing valuable services to their employers. The Immigration Forum also focused on solutions, especially the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill that has been proposed by a bipartisan group of concerned legislators. Important aspects of the bill were presented and discussed, as was how it will bring about responsible reform to benefit both individuals and business interests.
This week, the Senate Immigration Reform Bill was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with some good changes, and it is basically intact as originally proposed. Now it is up to the Senate to consider it, probably later in June, and then it will be on to the House, where the bill faces stiff opposition.
The Senate Immigration Reform Bill represents the first serious, responsible approach to immigration reform that we have seen in years. I applaud our Colorado senators for helping to move it along, and I especially appreciate the good work done by our own Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the “Gang of Eight.”
Now it is time for our elected representatives in the House to help finish the work. I call upon our Rep. Scott Tipton to take a long, hard look at the bill and consider how it impacts the people of his district, including the many individuals and businesses that are in the resort industry in Congressional District 3. Tipton has six major ski areas in his district. These include thousands of people and businesses that need the reform proposed in the Senate bill.
Scott Tipton, please take a hard look and consider the many immigrants employed in the mountain resorts in your district, and consider the businesses that employ them. We need you to help make responsible reform happen. To those who attended the Immigration Forum last week, and others concerned with this issue, write to Tipton or call him and tell him how you feel about immigration reform. He is our voice in Congress. Let’s help him use his voice in positive ways. Thank you!