DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a lot of hope within both parties that an immigration reform bill will pass this time around, particularly in a state like Colorado where more than 20 percent of the population is Hispanic.
CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd talked to some Coloradans who would be affected by a new policy.
Ezekiel Ramirez, Luis Serrano and Alejandra Delgado were among a group that gathered in Denver to celebrate the president’s announcement of his immigration reform plan.
“I was surprised that it did come this soon; I mean like two weeks after he got inaugurated,” Serrano said.
“The thing (that) just impacted me right away is he said, ‘I have this plan and I want Congress to vote on it, and I’m going to be working until they pass it,’ ” Ramirez said.
This time the pressure will be greater for Obama to keep his promise.
“We want to make sure that we hold Obama accountable, and we support him, and we’re behind him 100 percent,” Delgado said.
Hispanics growing political clout is one reason immigration reform is now possible. Eight Republican and Democratic senators, including Colorado’s Michael Bennet, already have a plan.
“I think what we’re beginning to see is the stirrings of the people on both sides of aisle deciding that the time has come,” Bennet said. “I’m very optimistic that we’re going to be able to get this across the finish line.”
Bennet said the plan reflects a lot of give and take. Citizenship would come only after fines and back taxes are paid, after waiting behind others in line, and after borders are better secured.
Still, Ramirez says for the first time he has hope.
“There’s a lot things that I wish could be done, but one thing is the chance to give back and help out this country I call my home,” he said.