Udall, Gardner optimistic about possible immigration compromise

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Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner.

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is among the eight high-profile senators who rolled out a major bipartisan compromise on comprehensive immigration reform on Monday.

His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mark Udall, who is up for reelection next year, expressed hope Monday afternoon that the proposal from the so-called “Gang of Eight” might be a real way forward on an issue that has divided lawmakers for years.

“As someone who has fought for many years for comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, I am pleased to see this bipartisan immigration-reform plan, including a tough, but fair path to citizenship,” Udall said in a statement released to FOX31 Denver.

“Colorado’s immigrant community, businesses, religious leaders, and agricultural producers all want us to address this urgent problem and fix our broken immigration system. Passing comprehensive immigration reform is about more than strengthening our borders and bringing millions of people out of the shadows: It’s about jobs, the economy, and ensuring that businesses have access to labor and that all Coloradans have access to opportunity.

“I look forward to learning more about the details of the proposal in the days ahead. Coloradans of every stripe are demanding action for the good of our national security, our economy and our families. I plan to stand with Coloradans in the coming weeks and months to fight for common-sense immigration reform.”

Republican Congressman Cory Gardner of Yuma, who is considered to be the strongest possible opponent for Udall next year should he decide to run, also issued a statement to FOX31 Denver.

“I am glad that our country is starting to have a serious conversation about how to repair our broken immigration system – it is long overdue,” Gardner said. “I have always believed this issue must be addressed in a bipartisan way, and I look forward to fully reviewing the Senators’ plan to make sure it aligns with the values of the people of Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.”