november 17, 2017

CHBA's Position on Denver's Sanctuary City Status

The CHBA supports the City and County of Denver in its efforts to maintain human rights for all individuals working and residing in Denver, CO.  On November 15, 2017, the US Department of Justice issued a 1373 Compliance Letter to Denver Chief of Police, Robert White, indicating that Denver Municipal Code § 28-250 violates 8 USC § 1373 by allegedly prohibiting the use of city funds/resources to assist in civil immigration enforcement efforts.  This affects the city’s eligibility for funding under the Byrne JAG grant program, which is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.  For example, the program provides funding necessary to support law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and mental health programs. 

In actuality, Denver Municipal Code § 28-250 prohibits the city from requesting and disseminating information regarding immigration status to assist in civil immigration enforcement efforts, unless required by federal law.  Specifically, § 28-250(a)(2) states that the city shall not request information regarding an individual’s national origin, immigration or citizenship status, and (a)(4) prohibits the dissemination of information regarding the same, except to the extent required by federal law, including 8 USC § 1373.  However, § 28-250(b) and (c) do not prohibit city funds/resources from being used to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities where there is a warrant issued by a federal judge/magistrate, or when called upon to assist in law enforcement actions where the primary purpose is to enforce city, state, or federal criminal laws.  

The CHBA stands with the City and County of Denver in its position that § 28-250 does not conflict with 8 USC § 1373.  Allowing the City and County of Denver to provide for the safety and welfare of its population is important to the CHBA.  The CHBA condemns the use of the Bryne JAG grant program as a means to force the City and County of Denver to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts that are outside the scope of 8 USC § 1373. 

Please refer to the following PDFs for more information:

november 2, 2017

2017 CHBA Award Recipients Announced

Warmest Congratulations to this Year's Award Recipients!

Chris Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer: Cristal DeHererra

Presented to an outstanding Hispanic attorney in practice more than five years who has shown a continual commitment to the Hispanic community and the principles of the legal profession.

Ms. DeHerrera is Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of Denver. She was appointed in 2014 by Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and her responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of more than 200 attorneys and staff in one of the largest public law offices in the Western US. She also advises the city on a wide range of legal and policy issues.

Outstanding New Hispanic Lawyer: Martina Hinojosa

Presented to an outstanding Hispanic attorney, in practice for five years or less, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Hispanic community and the principles of the legal profession.

Ms. Hinojosa is a member of the Public Finance, Incentives, and Tax Credits Group at Butler Snow. Hinojosa earned her undergraduate degree from Rice University, master’s degree from Harvard University and Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado Law School.

Outstanding Corporate Commitment Award: Molson Coors

Presented to a company that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the Hispanic community and that promote diversity in corporate policies and activities.

Individual Community Service Award: Veronique Van Gheem

Presented to an individual committed to providing services benefiting the Hispanic community.

Ms. Van Gheem is Senior Assistant Legal Counsel for the State Court Administrator's Office of the Colorado Judicial Branch. Ms. Van Gheem leads the Spanish-speaking clinic portion of Project Safeguard which assists women who are survivors of domestic violence in obtaining divorces and/or allocation of parental responsibilities. Ms. Van Gheem also takes pro bono immigration cases for RMAIN, is also a Law School Yes We Can Mentor, an active participant in many local and state-wide legal clinics, and Chair of the CHBA's Pro Bono Committee.

Nonprofit Organization Community Service Award: Towards Justice

Presented to a nonprofit organization committed to providing services benefiting the Hispanic community.

Towards Justice empowers America’s chronically marginalized workforce to address systemic injustice, defend family financial stability, and ensure that work is the most effective strategy for economic success in our country.

september 27, 2017

The Honorable Roger Cisneros & Adelita Cisneros

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.

SEPTEMBER  6, 2017

The CHBA Denounces the Trump Administration’s Decision to End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

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.  

november 11, 2016

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

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