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March 6, 2024

Legislation to Support New Immigrants Passes Committee

DENVER, CO - The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee today passed legislation to grant funding to community-based organizations that provide crucial services to new immigrants. HB24-1280 passed by a vote of 8-3.

“Immigrants come to our country fleeing violence, economic despair, and life-threatening circumstances, and they can contribute a lot to Colorado’s economic growth if we give them the tools to integrate into our society,” said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. “Our legislation would create a grant program to help local communities provide a wide range of services, from English classes to job referrals. We must do what we can to support new immigrants as they settle in Colorado to maintain peaceful, safe, and healthy communities.”

“We must respond to the needs of new immigrants in our communities to ensure Colorado remains a place of hope and good quality of life for so many,” said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. “Supporting new immigrants with referrals to housing and job opportunities helps them contribute to our communities, which they so desperately want to do. This bill will help set up newcomers for success so they can create the future that they came here to build.”

HB24-1280 creates the Statewide Welcome, Reception, and Integration Grant Program to grant funds to community-based organizations that provide services and programs to new immigrants within their first year in the United States. Grant money can be used for:

  • Conducting an intake and assessment of needs,

  • Providing cultural orientation and case management

  • Services or referrals to employment services, immigration legal assistance, housing-related services, transportation services, financial orientation, mental and physical health services, interpretation and translation services, and English as a second language courses, 

  • Distributing emergency and transitional supplies, and

  • Assisting new immigrant parents to enroll their kids in public schools or summer programs.

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