The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association mourns the loss of Judge Roger Cisneros (ret.), and his wife Adelia Cisneros. As a founding member of the CHBA and a member of the Colorado bar since 1957, Judge Cisneros was a pillar of Colorado’s Latino/a legal community. He was elected to the state Senate in 1964, and served twelve years in the legislature. In 1977, he was appointed to the state district court bench, and held that position until retiring in 1986. Judge Cisneros was a champion for Latino/as in education and in law. Not only was he a founding member of the CHBA, he also worked to found the Latin American Education Fund (LAEF), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), and the Latin American Research and Services Agency (LARASA)—now known as the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO). Judge Cisneros’s commitment to our community is unmatched.
Adelia Cisneros was a powerhouse in her own right. A teacher with a master’s degree in Education, Adelia was an advocate for Head Start and bilingual education in Denver Public Schools. She taught for DPS for seventeen years, and served as President of the Parent Teacher Association at three of the district’s schools. She also worked with her husband to found LAEF. In addition to education, Adelia was passionate about healthcare reform and getting out the minority vote. She was heavily involved in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Our deepest condolences go out to the Cisneros children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as all family members, and all members of our community affected by this loss. A funeral service will be held at the University of Denver, Ritchie Center, located at 2240 Buchtel Boulevard in Denver, on Saturday, September 30, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Burial will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery, located at 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard in Denver, on Monday, October 2, 2017, from 12:15-12:45 p.m.
The Trump Administration’s decision to reverse the executive order that created DACA leaves hundreds of thousands of bright, young individuals in a shroud of uncertainty. We believe that this decision is inconsistent with the values of the United States.
Since the Trump Administration announced it would decide on the fate of DACA, students and organizations, both in Colorado and across the country, have rallied, marched, and mobilized elected officials to urge the Administration to continue DACA, which aims to protect young, undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to work in and contribute to this country. Specifically, the Administration announced that the Government will no longer accept new applications under DACA, and for those already participating in DACA, renewals will only be granted for those due within six months.
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also tied the fate of the program and its recipients to border security and immigration reform by calling for Congressional action in a comprehensive immigration bill that would address the Administration’s campaign promises, including a wall along the southern border of the United States. The CHBA urgently calls upon Congress to pass a stand-alone bill to address the needs of DREAMers.
There are roughly 800,000 DACA recipients nationally, with an estimated 17,258 in Colorado. DACA recipients contribute to communities across our state as students, employees, and business owners. Over 15,000 DACA recipients work in our state, and a recent study estimates that Colorado could lose $850,000,000 in GDP annually from the loss of DACA workers in Colorado’s economy.
Aside from the economic impact, DACA recipients are human beings, many of whom know no other country than the United States. The Administration’s decision does not stem from fairness or humanitarian motives, but instead from hatred, fear, and ignorance.
We believe that the decision to end DACA and tie its future to the Trump Administration’s push for a border wall not only puts DREAMers’ lives at risk; it is also an attack on the immigrant community at large, including the Latino/a community. Further, it is at odds with popular opinion, as polls show that the majority of Americans support DACA and humane immigration reform. Finally, the decision to end DACA is even more troubling in light of President Trump’s decision to pardon former Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of federal court arising from racial discrimination in law enforcement.
The CHBA is deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision to end DACA, and rejects the Administration’s approach of tying legislation safeguarding DREAMers to immigration reform that will continue to target and harm immigrant communities, particularly Latinos/as. We strongly encourage our members to call their Congressional representatives and urge support for a stand-alone DREAM Act.
DREAMers of COLORADO, the CHBA is here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for support and legal assistance. We will continue to fight for you, for us, and for our community.
CHBA's Commitment to Improving the Hispanic Community
To our members, friends, colleagues, and family:
After a difficult and divisive election, many of us have received numerous calls and messages over the past few days expressing fear, despair, and uncertainty.
This is not a time to succumb to these feelings; it is time to come together and act to protect our families and our community. The CHBA remains energized and committed to having our voices heard. We promote religious tolerance, compassionate immigration policies, women's rights, acceptance and support for other countries and cultures different than our own, protection of our natural resources, care for the sick, and justice for all. These are our common goals.
The CHBA will continue to demand fairness and equality from our elected officials, and require a dialogue rooted in honesty and integrity.
While this election's rhetoric does not provide our country with the comfort, inspiration, or hope we as a people deserve from our elected officials, it does make our commitments even more important, urgent, and compelling.
To that end, the CHBA will continue to work diligently to educate our community. The CHBA will continue to meet and mentor our Hispanic youth from grade school to law school and into their legal careers. The CHBA will continue to fight for the expansion of Hispanic attorneys, Hispanic judges and Hispanics serving on boards and commissions, both locally and nationally. We will continue to strengthen our public service programs, such as our pro bono representation and Spanish-speaking lawyer services. The CHBA will continue to take leadership roles on local boards, committees, and nonprofits. The CHBA will actively pursue leadership opportunities, in Colorado and beyond. Finally, we will, as always, promote compassionate, fair, and comprehensive immigration reform.
The CHBA is here to serve our Latino/a community, and we will do so with the unrelenting dedication of our members and Board. We stand with you.
Arnulfo D Hernández
President of the CHBA