Watch CBS News

Colorado lawmakers host roundtable discussion on immigration reform

Colorado lawmakers host roundtable discussion on immigration reform
Colorado lawmakers host roundtable discussion on immigration reform 02:31

On Monday, a roundtable discussion was held at the Colorado State Capitol to discuss all things immigration reform.

"A lot of the issues, that I'm concerned with, don't live in a silo," said Rep. Iman Jodeh, Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives from the 41st District. "We need to make sure that they have access to affordable housing, that health care is not something that they have to be afraid of when they need it."

Members of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado and the Democratic Latino Caucus invited Rep. Jason Crow for a meeting to discuss the future of immigration policies and efforts like the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recent migrant arrivals to Colorado, detention facilities, work visas and even the economy.


"We're all angry about the lack of action, we are all trying to figure out what the path forward is, this is a collaborative process because it has to be," Crow said. "I have to be willing to partner with anybody who's willing in good faith to fix this issue."

Crow tells CBS News Colorado one of the issues he wants to start with is small businesses.  

"We're going to really start working closer with the business community," said Crow. "Because the thing that we hear over and over again is the nature of our workforce shortage. There is nothing short of a crisis in Colorado for our small businesses who don't have enough workers to actually support their businesses and immigration is a key element to fixing that."

Rep. Jennifer Bacon, who represents District 7 in the Colorado House of Representatives, said many of her constituents fear what will happen to the DACA program and what will happen with the information provided to federal agencies if it's reversed, as well as whether the Biden administration will provide protections for those people.

"We're also as Denverites really interested, in not only how the state can support in the arrival of migrants, but what we can rely on by way of the federal government, in regards to everything from funding to being able to support FEMA, and what can we understand about what they're doing in the region, if not across the country, to help be able to resettle people," Bacon said.

But with Democrats heading into a Republican-majority house, accomplishing anything immigration-related may be tough.

"For the past two years, President Biden and Congressman Crow had majorities in both houses of the senate, and they did not try to implement any substantial immigration reform," said Republican political analyst Dick Wadhams.  

Wadhams said while Republicans are likely open to addressing issues like DACA and work visas, border security is top of mind.

"I don't think individual parts of the immigration issue are going to be solved until we get the border stabilized overall, and i think that's the issue right now," Wadhams said.

A spokesperson for Rep. Ken Buck replied to a request for this story saying securing the border and addressing the humanitarian crisis in our border states is their main focus when it comes to immigration.

CBS News Colorado also contacted the teams for Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Doug Lamborn but they did not respond to our requests.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.