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Who's Who? Immigrant Rights in Denver, Colorado

Immigrant Rights in Colorado
Immigrant Rights in Colorado Photo: / AFSC

CFIR: (pronounced See-Fir) Coloradans For Immigrant Rights’ primary goal is to create a welcoming climate for all people by building broad support for immigrant justice. This project of AFSC advocates for humane immigration policies and works to eliminate unjust immigration practices. We educate and organize allies in support of human rights for all people, with the belief that a diversity of voices grow and strengthen the movement for immigrant justice.”

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights is the ally project of AFSC, the American Friends Service Committee and has a “core group of members” who are deeply engaged and attend biweekly meetings. CFIR also has a letter writing ladder whose members write letters to the editor responding to articles on immigration along with an action network listserv and often acts as a speaker’s bureau.

EFIR: Educators For Immigrant Rights, a project supported by AFSC, created by Kathy Bougher and LeeAnn Gott, two retired teachers. EFIR is a political home for educators supporting immigrant students and their parents. They provide resources and encouragement for respectful, safe and deep teaching on the subject of immigration.  

MDSC: Nine Colorado faith communities have joined together with the American Friends Service Committee to form the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition. "In responding to the invitation to provide sanctuary, we embody the integrity of our faith traditions, in which sanctuary is deeply rooted across centuries: to proclaim and protect the dignity and worth of every human being. Providing sanctuary affirms our solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers, and our conviction that families should not be torn apart by unjust policies." Coordinated by Jennifer Piper, the current focus of the MDSC is to increase participation from immigrant congregations.

CIRC: “The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is a statewide, membership-based coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth, community, business and ally organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly state.” AFSC is a founding member of CIRC and partners on many projects and is active in the Denver Metro Region and part of several committees.

COPA Colorado People’s Alliance (formerly RAP/DPT: Rights for All People, or Derechos Para Todos) “is a multi-racial, member-driven organization dedicated to advancing and winning progressive social change locally, statewide and nationally. COPA builds power to improve the lives of all Coloradans through leadership development, organizing and alliance building.” RAP/DPT was an immigrant rights group that was founded by AFSC in 1999 and formed as an independent organization in 2000. After merging with the Colorado Progressive Coalition, they formed the Colorado People’s Alliance and the Colorado People’s Action, their C4, and intend to engage in statewide work. Their headquarters are in Denver, but they will maintain an office in Aurora.

Together Colorado is a non-partisan, multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that unlocks the power of people to transform their communities through community organizing.  Comprised of 60+ congregations, schools and youth committees from Pueblo to Fort Collins and a growing statewide clergy network, we are building a moral and democratic voice in Colorado through a racial and economic lens.” Formerly called MOP, Metro Organizations for People, Together Colorado is a Denver & Aurora focused statewide organization working in schools and churches. They have immigrant members and immigration committees.

Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights and quality healthcare for all.” Padres y Jovenes is a Denver based organization working with Latin@, and largely immigrant students and parents on school reform and accountability.

SEIU 105: “The Service Employees International Union, local 105, an organization of more than 7,000 health care and property service workers in Colorado.  We are united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.” SEIU has many immigrant members and partners closely with the Fight for 15 Fast Food workers who are also largely immigrant.

Colorado Jobs with Justice is a long-term, formal coalition of labor, community, faith, and student and youth organizations that come together to advance workers' rights and social justice through building sustained relationships and taking direct action to create concrete change in the lives of working families.”

Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores (El Centro) is Denver’s day laborer center promoting work, dignity and community.  The mission is to promote the rights and well-being of day laborers in Colorado through education, job skills, leadership development, united action and advocacy.” Founded by AFSC in 2000 and devolved in 2001, AFSC Staff and CFIR members work closely with both the women’s co op program and the Wage Theft Recovery Team.

Casa de Paz is a hospitality home for families affected by immigrant detention. We provide free lodging, transportation, and food for our guests. Our house is located directly across the street from the immigrant detention center in Aurora, CO making it easily accessible to those who stay with us. If you are coming into town to visit a loved one who is detained, or have just been released from the immigrant detention center, please know we are here for you. We open the doors to this home because we believe in the dignity of all people and the reunification of families.”

There are other various players in Colorado and other movements for justice, this list is intended to give you the lay of the land. 

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