I fully agree with the Aurora Sentinel’s recent editorial titled, “It’s all about jobs — Trump’s disastrous immigration ‘fix’ missed the point.” We must stand against the Trump administration’s most recent and unreasonable immigration orders and, more importantly, push our congressional delegation to fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
Immigrants contribute far more to the economy than they draw in public benefits. They are hardworking and often take jobs that American citizens are unwilling to do. In Colorado alone, undocumented workers contribute $8 billion annually, and pay $1.3 billion in taxes — and if Congress were to create a pathway to citizenship, it’s estimated legal immigrants would pay an additional $681 million in local taxes.
As the editorial stated, many of these immigrants who are threatened with deportation are fully integrated into our communities. There are over half of a million immigrant residents in Colorado — they work, pay taxes and spend their money here. Not only would the cost of mass deportations result in an astronomical amount of taxpayers’ dollars lost, but our local economies would suffer from the loss these immigrant contributions in terms of labor, local spending and tax dollars.
Our immigration system has not seen significant updates since the Reagan administration. We need to urge Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, as well as all our state’s Congressional representatives, to take a realistic approach and push for comprehensive immigration reform. As well as securing our borders, Congress should create a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
As the Aurora Sentinel so accurately stated, it’s time we accept the inconvenient truths of our immigration problem and make it possible for most everyone who is already here to call the U.S. home.
Alex McShiras is an associate attorney with Joseph Law Firm in Aurora.