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Colorado Business Leaders Strengthen Commitment to Colorado Compact and Call for Immigration Reform

Denver, CO — Today, a bipartisan coalition of Colorado business, civic, academic, and faith leaders came together to promote the Colorado Compact on Immigration, a set of key principles outlining the need for smart immigration policies at the national level that will ensure the future growth and stability of Colorado’s economy. Initially introduced in 2012, the Colorado Compact on Immigration is signed by more than 120 prominent business, academic, faith and civic leaders from across the state, Western Union, Club 20, the University of Colorado system, and Vail Resorts, along with many of Colorado’s largest Chambers including the Denver Metro Chamber, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and Greeley Chamber, and most major industry associations.

The press conference at MSU Denver’s St. Cajetan’s Event Center featured Senator Michael Bennet, who spearheaded the original Colorado Compact, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union, and Colorado Business Roundtable President Jeff Wasden, among other business and civic leaders who recognize the integral role of immigrants in Colorado’s economy and future. 

WHAT: The Colorado Compact on Immigration and a discussion on the need for immigration reform

WHO:

  • U.S. Senator Cory Gardner
  • U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (video remarks)
  • Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union
  • Jeff Wasden, President of the Colorado Business Roundtable 
  • Kelly Brough, President and CEO, of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Ted Leighty, CEO of Colorado Association of Homebuilders
  • Hanna Siegel, Managing Director of New American Economy

WHEN:
June 28, 2019 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

WHERE:
St. Cajetan’s Event Center
101 Lawrence Way
Denver, CO 80204

The Colorado Compact is a bipartisan initiative to advocate for common sense federal immigration reforms that strengthen Colorado’s economy. With unemployment in the state hovering near three percent, Colorado employers need a modern immigration system to address worker shortages and long-term labor needs. Signers of the Compact are committed to supporting legislation that prioritizes families, safe communities, and business needs while protecting the interests of American workers.

“Creating an immigration system that is responsive to business and economic needs, and includes seasonal work visas, is an important step to ensure that Colorado’s economy can continue to grow and support recreation-related industries like the ski industry,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.

“Colorado business leaders understand the importance of advancing a balanced, commonsense approach to immigration. As one of Colorado’s leading business organizations, Colorado Business Roundtable recognizes and celebrates the contributions of our immigrant community and the critical role they play in fueling innovation, diversity of thought, and invaluable expertise for business growth and competitiveness,” said Jeff Wasden, President of Colorado Business Roundtable. “We need an immigration system that is modernized to recruit and retain top talent. Immigrants are workers and taxpayers who make contributions to our everyday lives and communities. Addressing our broken immigration system with policies that reflect our values, is flexible and responsive to the needs of business and the changing workforce will ensure Colorado companies have the talent and workforce necessary to grow and compete globally.” 

“Colorado’s leaders know that welcoming immigrants is a key piece of the state’s future success. Take, for example, the 26,000 DACA-eligible residents in Colorado who pay nearly $76 million in taxes and have $420 million in spending power to contribute to the state’s economy,” said Hanna Siegel, Managing Director, New American Economy. “Immigrants are integral to the future of Colorado and that’s why more than 120 leaders have chosen to put politics aside and demand a real conversation about smart immigration reform.”

The Colorado Compact on Immigration comes as new data from New American Economy (NAE)’s Map the Impact shows the outsize contributions of immigrants to Colorado’s economy. According to NAE’s analysis, immigrants in Colorado paid $1.2 billion in state and local taxes and held $12.9 billion in spending power in 2017. Immigrants also support Colorado’s key industries. Nearly 39 percent of construction workers are immigrants, and immigrants make up a quarter of all workers in the tourism industry. 

Colorado is one of five states to recognize the importance of State Compacts on immigration this year. Since February, Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Utah business and community leaders have all launched or reaffirmed their commitments to Compacts on Immigration in their state, demonstrating a strong, bipartisan imperative to welcome immigrants and advance sensible immigration policy. 

New American Economy (NAE) is proud to support the 2019 Colorado Compact on Immigration.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…