We conduct our Immigrant Justice work through our values of family unity and the equitable treatment of all people, we are working to resist the systems that detain and deport our immigrant community.
Private Prisons and Detention of Immigrants
In 2018, COPA launched a campaign to shut down and to hold the GEO Immigration Detention Center in Aurora accountable to its constant illness outbreaks, instances of medical neglect, and reports of inhumane and unsanitary conditions. Through a listening campaign we were able to lift up the stories of those inside the detention center and bring light to the inhumane conditions at this center. Because of the bravery of directly impacted families in sharing their stories, the GEO center has been under much more public scrutiny. We are committed to supporting the leadership development of impacted people so that they are at the forefront of this campaign and we are committed to ending the inhumane conditions at the center, to stop the deportation of our community and to shut down private prisons that are benefiting from the detention and deportation of our people.
I Drive Colorado Campaign
After years of fighting for access to driver’s licenses for undocumented coloradans, in 2013 our community won Driver’s Licenses for All with the bill SB 251. SB 251 driver’s licenses allow immigrants with temporary visas as well as undocumented Coloradans to have access to a driver’s license in Colorado. Unfortunately, after this success, anti-immigrant legislators fought to limit access to the program, but after more years of organizing, our community won again! We successfully won a policy change to allow online renewals to facilitate the renewal process. Later we eliminated a cap which would have brought down the number of offices that can process SB 251 licenses to just one office after 66,000 ID or Driver’s License documents were given out. Not only that but in 2019 we won a policy change that expands the number of offices that can offer licenses from 3 to 10.
But the work is not over and due to the recent tactics and attacks from the current administration we are now tackling how to protect the information at the Department of Motor Vehicles from immigration and ensure the program is being properly implemented by the Department of Revenue.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
We are fighting for fair and humane immigration reform that recognize that immigrants are key to thriving communities. We are organizing to open avenues for lawful migration, to stop unconstitutional immigrant detention, and to ensure immigrant’s human and constitutional rights are protected. We believe all immigrants deserve an avenue to legalization that includes a pathway to citizenship.
That’s why we have fought for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the DREAM and Promise Act and for a permanent solution for TPS and DED recipients.
We also believe immigration reforms must acknowledge that our racist immigrant and criminal justice systems have unjustly targeted black and brown immigrants and we must not allow these unfair systems to continue as we fight for and win immigration reforms.