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May 1, 2024

Legislation to Support New Immigrants Passes House

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Elizabeth Velasco and Lorena Garcia to grant funding to community-based organizations that provide crucial services to new immigrants. HB24-1280 passed by a vote of 44-20.

“Diversity makes us stronger, and we must set up new immigrants for success so they can create a better and safer life for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. “Supporting new immigrants helps all our communities. By strengthening Colorado’s existing community-based resources, new immigrants will have a better chance of building a thriving life, just like the generations of immigrants before them did.”

“Colorado has seen a significant increase in new immigrants, and counties and organizations across the state are struggling to keep up with the demand for necessary services and resources,” said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. “Resources like referrals to housing, employment assistance, and school enrollment support have a significant impact on new residents achieving stability here. Our legislation aims to better support the good work that community organizations are already doing to aid new immigrants as they transition to life in Colorado.”

HB24-1280 creates the Statewide Welcome, Reception, and Integration Grant Program to grant funds to community-based organizations that provide services 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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