Religious groups ask Colorado legislature for respectful immigration debate


On Monday a group of interfaith religious leaders asked the Colorado legislature to sign a “pledge of respect” to elevate the tone of debates on immigration.

“We are concerned that at times the debate demonstrates little respect for the issue or the people affected by the legislation.  Immigrants are living in a climate of fear, hate, and intimidation,” said Fidel “Butch” Montoya, Director of H.S. Power & Light, a faith-based Latino initiative.

Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Executive of the Colorado Council of Churches said the pledge could help set a positive tone and a good example.  “How we speak to each other and about each other is a matter of moral and faith responsibility,” he said.

Among the Catholic leaders who asked the legislature for the pledge of respect were Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput, Bishop of Pueblo Arthur N. Tafoya, and Bishop of Colorado Springs Michael J. Sheridan.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, the pledge reads, “As a legislator representing the people of Colorado, I believe that regarding matters where we are not of one mind, our humble respect for each other and all of God’s children can draw us together to be of one heart.

Therefore, I pledge that as I take positions and enter into dialogue on the issue of immigration that the tone of my discourse and the choice of my words will reflect the respect I have for the sacred humanity of those about whom I am speaking and with whom I may disagree.”

The numerous faith leaders said in a statement that they believed all people should discuss their differences in a spirit of civility, reason, and humility.

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