Harmful, racist policies not only intentionally target members of our community, they also bleed into the workings of our everyday culture, creating invisible barriers that prevent people from living their fullest lives. In 2006, Colorado passed three laws that established greater barriers for immigrants and consequently fueled anti-immigrant sentiment in our state and nation. The passage of SB 1023, 90, and HB 1009 instituted a failed patchwork of state and local policies that continue to threaten kids and families every day. The 2006 laws go beyond existing federal law and ultimately harm all members of our communities by driving down wages, impeding individuals’ rights to make an adequate living and threatening public health by barring individuals from utilizing basic benefits. Barriers to public services and quality child care lead to poor health outcomes, increased learning gaps, and lower wages over a child’s lifetime.
Episode 9 of The West Steps provides more background on these bills and the way they continue to impact our state. We are joined by Maggie Gómez, Deputy Director at the Center for Health Progress, and Lorena Garcia, Executive Director of the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition. Maggie and Lorena describe the impacts of these bills, as well as current efforts taking place to implement policy that provides undocumented individuals with the support they need. This legislative session, policymakers have the opportunity to expand access to economic opportunity and give local communities the authority to support our immigrant and undocumented neighbors through the passage of SB 199. While one bill won’t solve everything, it is one step toward creating more inclusive, equitable communities where all kids and families have the chance to thrive.
To read more about SB 199 bill and its journey through the legislature, click here.Support the show (https://www.coloradokids.org/)