Letters to the Editor

LTR: Treat immigrants with dignity and equality

April 12, 2012

Dear Speaker McNulty and Members of the House:

We, members of the PICO Colorado Clergy Action Network (PICO CAN), are writing to urge your support and passage of SB 15, Colorado ASSET. As a diverse, interfaith, non-partisan group of clergy and faith leaders from throughout the state, we speak from the convictions of our faith and, in many cases, from the real life concerns of the people in our congregations and communities.

Without taking funds from state and while increasing the revenues of our local colleges and universities, Colorado ASSET will make college more affordable for all high-achieving, high school graduates while increasing the quality of our workforce. It makes no sense to abandon the investment that Colorado has already made in immigrant children with K-12 education, especially when these youth are so close to reaching their productive capacity.

At a time when Colorado is desperate for economic growth, our youth are waiting to spark our economic engine. It makes no sense to charge these students five times more than traditional in-state numbers denying them higher education or driving them to colleges in bordering states. These other states will benefit from our investment by offering our young people an affordable higher education.

Beyond that and, most important, the sacred texts of our great faith traditions compel us to treat immigrants in our midst with dignity and equality. As faith leaders who are called to work for justice, we believe that the financial barrier faced by young, undocumented students is an injustice, adding unnecessary burdens as they seek to further their education and contribute to the state which they call home.

We are encouraged that bipartisan support is growing for Colorado ASSET and urge you, this year, to make the long deferred dream of these deserving students a reality by passing the bill.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Clergy and Faith Leaders of Metro Organizations for People (MOP) & PICO CO Clergy Action Network (PICO CAN)

Fr. Steve Adams, Pastor, St. Pius X, Aurora

Rev. Bonita Bock, ELCA Clergy, Denver

Rev. Nelson Bock, ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod, Denver

Rev. Charles E Butler, Retired Clergy, Pueblo

Rev. Bill Calhoun, Presbyterian minister, Denver

Rev. Paul Carlson, Pastor, Our Savior’s Lutheran, Denver

Rev. Dr. Neema Caughran, Center for Inner Peace, Pueblo

Fr. Bert Chilson, Pastor, St. Therese Catholic Church, Aurora

Rev. Mary Ann Dimand, The Rocky Mountain Conference, The United Methodist Church, Arvada

Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Rosebury, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette

Rev. Malcolm Himschoot, Minister, United Church of Christ, Denver

Rev. Kim James, Senior Pastor, Wesley UMC, Pueblo

Rev. Robert Kippley, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Canon City

Rev. Bill Kirton, Retired Clergy, United Methodist Rocky Mountain Conference, Denver

Rev. Daniel Klawitter, Co-Chair of the Order of Deacons, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church

Anna Koop, Sisters of Loretta, Denver

Rev. Paul Kottke, Senior Pastor, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver

Rev. Gary Wolfer, Pastor, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver

Rev. Laurene M. Lafontaine, Parish Associate, Montview Blvd Presbyterian Church, Denver

Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, United Church of Christ, Denver

Rev. Dr. Terry A. Purvis-Smith, Pastor, The United Church of Idaho Springs, Idaho Springs

Rev. Margaret Redmond, Pastor, First African Methodist Episcopal, Pueblo

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman, Jewish Community Relations Council and Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council

Rabbi David Segal, Aspen Jewish Congregation, Aspen

Rev. Jennifer Soule-Hill, Pastor, Family of Christ Presbyterian, Greeley

Rev. Nate Soule-Hill, Pastor, Family of Christ Presbyterian, Greeley

The Rev. M. Catherine Volland, Assistant Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Denver

Rev. Dr. Louise Westfall, Senior Pastor, Central Presbyterian Church, Denver

Dana W. Wilbanks, Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics, The Iliff School of Theology, Denver

Fr. John Ozella, St. Pius X, Pueblo