DENVER (CBS4) – There was a big turnout Saturday to hear two of Colorado’s members of Congress talk about immigration reform.
One of the many issues at play at the meeting was centered on border security. Many Democrats and Republicans are at odds on how people gain citizenship to the U.S. On Saturday Democrats held a public forum, giving undocumented citizens a chance to plead their case and fight for change.
Passionate immigration advocates spoke at the public forum. Many were in tears begging for change.
“You never know what can happen if your parents get stopped by a police officer and you never know if you will ever see them again,” one woman said.
Democrats organized the public forum to generate support for immigration reform, saying the current system forces families to wait too long to become citizens.
“We need an immigration system that reflects our values as Americans; an immigration system that doesn’t tear families apart,” Rep. Jared Polis said.
“You’ve got to give people a path to freedom, you’ve got to help families,” Rep. Diana DeGette said.
Former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo says their party is being bullied into immigration reform.
“Stop trying to play on emotions when you’ve got a very serious public policy issue,” Tancredo said.
Tancredo said any sort of reform would be a setback.
“If you tell people who have come into the country illegally that it’s okay, they can stay and they will eventually become citizens, then what do you tell the people who have done it the right way? How do you explain this to them?” Tancredo said.
Tancredo says both parties are a long way from a compromise.
“It is an emotional issue, that’s true, but let’s try to figure this out rationally,” he said.
DeGette says Colorado lawmakers will meet this week to rally support for reform. They need 218 votes the bill to pass Congress in the next couple of months.