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Last week, immigration agents and local law enforcement in Fort Morgan raided a dairy farm and found that nearly ninety percent of its workers were in the country illegally. Eleven men are now being held in the county jail on charges of identity theft. The raid is one of the biggest in the state over the past year, and brings to light the high number of undocumented workers in Colorado's farming industry. To find out more about the implications of the raid, KDNK's Mathew Katz spoke with Hans Meyer with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
With a divided Congress, getting anything done in Washington has been difficult. Immigration reform has been one of the most divisive topic among lawmakers. Now, a variety of immigrant-rights groups around the country have all but officially given up on their dreams of comprehensive federal immigration reform over the next few years. Instead, they're pushing to make immigration enforcement less strict. KDNK's Mathew Katz spoke with Alan Kaplan of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition about one of those new programs.
Nearly one year ago Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070. The bill is considered one of the most aggressive immigration laws on the books - despite the challenges it's faced in federal courts. Now in the wake of Arizona's bill, other state's are considering how they too want to step up immigration enforcement, while also dealing with undocumented people already in the US. Here in Colorado, lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented students. And last week in Utah, two bills passed the legislature that would not only step up enforcement of immigration laws, but also create a guest worker program. The bills mark a step that mirrors many of the same elements of comprehensive immigration reform.
David Montero is reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune. He spoke with KDNK's Conrad Wilson about the two bills and what it could mean for Colorado.
As part of KDNK's Spring Renewal Membership Drive, we assembled a panel of experts to discuss immigration issues around the Valley.
Over the past 20 years, the state's Hispanic population has ballooned from 13 percent to nearly 21 percent of total residents, with the trajectory sure to continue. Here in Garfield County, we've seen the Latino population grow ninefold, largely due to immigration. This valley saw a large influx of immigrant labor as the home building and service industries picked up. Tonight we'll be discussing how that affects all residents in the valley, and what can be done to fix the challenges we'll be facing in the future.
After a series of failures in Congress last year, the immigration reform movement in Colorado has refocused its efforts to lobby for what they can on the state level. But as KDNK's Mathew Katz found out, the same can be said for those wanting to tighten immigration laws.
Colorado has signed on to a controversial immigration enforcement program that will link local police to federal immigration databases. KDNK's Mathew Katz reports.
Last month, the DREAM Act failed to pass in the senate. The act would make it easier for illegal immigrant children to go to college, and eventually get citizenship. It would have particular resonance here in the west, where hundreds of thousands of kids were brought to the U.S. without their consent. But according to some, the bill has some major faults. Steven Camarota is director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. He spoke with KDNK's Mathew Katz about some of those faults.
Dozens of students, teachers, and others gathered in Sopris Park last night to rally in support of the DREAM Act. The act would help illegal immigrant students go to college, but was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday. KDNK's Mathew Katz has more.
In mid-August a group of Republican lawmakers from Colorado traveled to Arizona to study immigration. The idea was to better understand the situation there and study state statutes, including Arizona's controversial new immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, that requires law enforcement to inquire on the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants. Lawmakers discovered Colorado has some strong immigration laws on the books that aren't being enforced. KDNK's Conrad Wilson spoke about the trip with House Representative Laura Bradford who represents the Western slope communities of Palisade, Grand Junction and Collbran.
When local cops help out immigration officers, one of their biggest concerns is that they're alienating the immigrant community. The downside is that immigrants won't report crimes.
One initiative the governor is considering could make that fear even more justified. KDNK's Mathew Katz has a firsthand look at why some immigrants are terrified of reporting crimes.