• Senate Bill 199 would repeal language barring immigrants in the U.S. illegally from accessing state and local public benefits. It’s among several bills that would affect Colorado immigrants.

    The Colorado State Capitol in Denver is pictured during the first day of the General Assembly’s 73rd regular legislative session on Jan. 13, 2021. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

    State lawmakers this year are advancing a historic slate of legislation aimed at assisting the estimated nearly 200,000 Coloradans living in the U.S. illegally, including through measures to shield them from federal immigration authorities and granting them access to state-funded benefits and services.

    The bills would also remove requirements that people prove legal residency to receive professional and business licenses, and create a state program to provide free birth control care and counseling for low-income immigrants without legal status.

    The Colorado Sun identified 11 bills debated at the legislature this year focused on immigrants, including four that have already been signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.

    “Not even a decade ago, it was considered a win to be able to pass one immigration-related bill in an entire legislative session,” said state Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat and one of the fiercest immigrant advocates in the Colorado legislature. “Because of the work that’s happened outside of this building, because of the activism of undocumented people sharing their stories and speaking for themselves, there has been a sea change.”

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    Posted by Dana West @ 1:06 pm for Adams County Politics, Colorado politics, Denver area politics, Immigration, Issues, NSRF Business, ObamaCare |

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