GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– Dozens of immigration reform protesters packed Rep. Cory Gardner’s office calling for changes. They even brought a mariachi band.
“We have our rights. This is a public office. We’re taxpayers. We’re refusing to leave, everyone come in,” chanted the protesters.
One by one more than 70 people filled Gardner’s Greeley office on Thursday. Gardner, a Republican, represents Northern Colorado.
They refused to leave until the lawmaker agreed to take action on long-debated measures that could improve the status of immigrants living in Colorado and throughout the U.S.
“We are here today because Congressman Gardner has failed to act on immigration reform,” said the protest leader.
They also chanted the United Farm Workers motto, “Yes we can.”
Protesters claimed Gardner has ignored his Latino constituents.
The debate over immigration reform is heating up as politicians on both sides of the aisle call for some type of action by summer’s end.
Gardner released this statement: “I remain supportive of fixing our broken immigration system. I’ve met with many groups who support immigration reform, and each conversation I have paints a more vivid picture of just how significant of an impact modernizing our immigration policy would have on families and businesses across Colorado. I will continue my efforts to convince Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor. It’s far too important of an issue for Colorado not to.”
Sonia Marquez, one of many voters asking Gardner to do more about immigration reform, would like to see him sponsor legislation.
“He speaks about how important it is to get to comprehensive immigration reform but he has lacked ability or even interest to push forward and take action. We are tired of his lip service. And we are fed up,” said Marquez.
The protest comes as Gardner moves forward with his bid to represent Colorado in the U.S. Senate.
The group that protested at his office plans to work to keep Gardner from winning that election against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.