Action Taken at State Level on National Position

POSITION IN BRIEF:

Promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises; and provide for student visas. Ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. In transition to a reformed system, support provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.

POSITION: (Adopted 2008)

The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system for legal entry of immigrants into the United States. The League supports federal payments to impacted communities with large immigrant populations.

Criteria for Legal Admission to the United States

The League supports the following criteria for legal admission of persons into the US: family reunification; flight from persecution or response to humanitarian crises; economic, business and employment needs in the US; education program opportunities; and lack of a history of serious criminal activity

Administration and Enforcement

The League supports due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment. The League supports: improved technology to facilitate verification of employee status; and increased personnel at borders.

Unauthorized Immigrants Already in the U.S.

In achieving overall policy goals, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship. While policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved, the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.

HISTORY

In the 2011 legislative session, seven bills and four Resolutions addressed various aspects of illegal immigration, with LWVCO responding to them based on the LWVUS position. One would have made violation of federal immigration law also a state offense and authorized law enforcement to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer had “probable cause” to suspect that the person was an alien who was in violation of three enumerated federal offenses. LWVCO opposed this bill, which died in committee.

In 2013 League successfully supported passage of Colorado ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow). This legislation established criteria allowing any student who attended a Colorado high school for at least three years, and graduated, to be recognized as a resident and given in-state tuition rates at Colorado institutions of higher education.

In 2013 League also supported the Community and Law Enforcement Trust Act, successfully repealing statutes passed in 2006 that put sheriffs and police in the business of enforcing immigration laws; and Driver’s License & Identification Documentation that created a special class of driver’s license for undocumented residents.