Coloradans rally for immigration reform; ACLU expresses concerns

Immigration reform rallies are being held in 25 Colorado cities today, including most of Colorado’s college towns.

The Colorado rallies will coincide with a march on Washington, D.C. that drew thousands for Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s unveiling of a federal immigration reform bill. Gutierrez, a Democratic representative from Illinois, is chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

In Denver, protesters planned to demonstrate at the University of Driscoll Green with tape over their mouths to represent those silenced by America’s present laws.

In Pueblo, marchers intended to hold a “Family Unity Can’t Wait” rally, then march to the office of Democratic 3rd District Rep. John Salazar.

In Fort Collins, marchers intend to listen to testimonials, then walk to Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey’s office.

Gutierrez’s bill is largely meant to pressure his colleagues, according to media reports.

From Feet in 2 Worlds:

Obama has charged Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York with drafting the government’s bill. Schumer had said the proposal would have been ready by Labor Day but, according to La Opinión, the health care debate derailed those plans.

The move toward reform is already beginning to earn comment. Earlier today, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement warning that comprehensive immigration reform proposals must not to compromise civil liberties.

From the Washington Independent:

“The ACLU is encouraged by the willingness of congressional leaders to lay out details of immigration reform, but we strongly oppose any reforms that would unnecessarily violate the privacy of Americans,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, in a statement issued today. “We urge lawmakers to reject any proposed immigration reform measures that include a biometric national worker ID system or a universal compulsory electronic employment verification system. These systems come at enormous cost to the American public and do little to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers. It is unacceptable to force Americans to be fingerprinted and photographed in order to work.”

The idea of a national ID and employment verification system is something immigration reform advocates often include as a way to appease critics of a comprehensive bill that would legalize some currently illegal immigrants. But the ACLU and other civil liberties groups have long opposed it.

For more on the ACLU’s stance, visit Colorado Independent sister site, the Washington Independent.

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