Guillermo "Bill" Vidal, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver and former mayor of Denver, testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the bipartisan immigration bill introduced by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and the "Group of 8." The Committee is holding its second hearing on the bill since its introduction last week.
"This bill reaffirms two essential American ideals -- the idea that we are committed as a country to the rule of law and the idea that we are a nation of immigrants. Bill's life story as a Cuban immigrant and a longtime public servant is a testament to these ideals," Bennet said. "His testimony adds a compelling story to this discussion that reflects the experience of countless Latino families across our country. Bill's presence at today's hearing is another important Colorado voice in building support for this bipartisan legislation."
In his testimony, Vidal said, "My parents made an unfathomably courageous sacrifice in sending their children to this country, and I am the better for it. My life has been filled with hope, opportunity, meaning and purpose. I am fulfilling my parents' American dream, but the America that I was sent to as a child would never have tolerated what many immigrants must live with today; living in fear of being deported or separated from their families, having their wages stolen by a deceitful employer, or having no legal recourse when crimes are committed against them. The fabric of America will continue to change and we as leaders should be the positive facilitators of that change."
In addition to Vidal, another Coloradan, Laura Lichter, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, also testified before the Committee in support of the bill.