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Coloradans Urge Congress, Administration to Keep Families Together

PHOTO: Colorado immigrants' rights organizations are calling on Congress and the administration to keep families together. Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh
PHOTO: Colorado immigrants' rights organizations are calling on Congress and the administration to keep families together. Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh
February 20, 2015

DENVER - A day after a federal judge in Texas put a pause on President Obama's sweeping executive actions on immigration, community organizations in Colorado are mobilizing.

The ruling in Texas came one day before hundreds of thousands of immigrants were about to apply for access to work permits and legal protections.

Peter Peterson, a volunteer with Coloradans for Immigrant Rights who is working with that group on a petition campaign, said he'll support the president's efforts to appeal the court's decision and is urging lawmakers to act now on immigration policies.

"It's just wrong that we separate children from their parents," Peterson said. "We hope to have 3,000 signatures on this petition and we want to take it to all of our national representatives and senators."

The states that have sued the Obama administration want to scare away eligible immigrants from applying for documentation, Peterson said, adding that using the federal court to further a political agenda excluding immigrants shouldn't be tolerated.

While serving as Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott filed the lawsuit against Obama's executive action. Now the state's Republican governor, Abbott said the federal court's decision is a victory for the rule of law and called the president's actions an overreach.

Peterson wants the Department of Justice to immediately file for an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction, to protect families from deportation.

"You don't want to do to somebody else what you wouldn't want done to you," Peterson said. "I wouldn't want my children to be separated from me because I'm sent back to where my ancestors came from."

Peterson stressed that the president's actions were clearly in order, and would have provided much-needed relief to millions of immigrants in the United States who have suffered without access to documents and dignity for too long.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO