The West Slope branch of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) held a regional meeting this past Saturday 2/23/19 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Montrose. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss current legislative initiatives in Colorado that would benefit immigrants and their families living here. 

Led by Nelly Garcia, CIRC’s West Slope Regional Organizer, attendees talked about Virginia’s Law and I-Drive

Nelly Garcia talks to attendees about the latest developments with I-Drive legislation.



Virginia’s Law


What are the origins of Virginia’s Law? 

In June 2011, Virginia Mancinas was attacked by her husband and called the police. When the police arrived, she denied the incident of domestic violence had taken place, as she was afraid of what would happen to her husband. She was then arrested for false reporting. 

After her arrest, Virginia was detained for two weeks on immigration charges, which were enabled by communication between the local police department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She was held without access to medical attention. Fortunately for Virginia, as a victim of domestic violence she gained legal status through the Violence Against Women Act, which protected her from a past deportation order. 

Unforunately, several months after the first incident she was again attacked by her husband, who entered her home. Scarred by her previous interaction with the police, she chose not to report the incident, and suffered the abuse of her husband.


What would Virginia’s Law accomplish?

Virginia’s Law would ensure the safety of any undocumented person who is the victim of a crime. It would do so by preventing communications between local police and ICE. This means that local police could not inform ICE of:

    • Arrests of undocumented persons.
    • The presence of undocumented persons at court dates, probation appointments, hospitals or schools.
    • Release dates of undocumented persons from local custody.


Show your support for Virginia’s Law here!




What is I-Drive? 
I-Drive allows undocumented persons in Colorado to apply for a driver’s license with a social security number. Previously, applicants had to have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This new law was passed in January 2019 and modifies the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act. 


Where can I get an I-Drive license? 
Currently, there is only one office in Western Colorado that emits I-Drive licenses: Grand Junction. There are also offices in Denver and Colorado Springs that emit new I-Drive licenses. But some good news may be on the horizon.


What’s next?

The next order of business is expanding access to the I-Drive program for immigrants living throughout Colorado. A current initiative, if passed, would open a number of new offices in Colorado, including 3 more in western Colorado:

    • Montrose
    • Durango
    • Glenwood Springs 


Find out more about how to apply for an I-Drive driver’s license here! Make sure to read this page carefully!


CIRC West Slope Regional Meeting Attendees


Saturday’s meeting had a great turnout, represented by these organizations:

  • Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP)
  • Montrose Immigrant Alliance (MIA)
  • Western Colorado Alliance (WCA)
  • Delta League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Organizing for Action (OFA)
  • D3 (District 3) Indivisible 
  • Riverside Task Force (RTF)

Members of Delta LULAC (foreground right) listen as Nelly Garcia talks about current legislation.

Keep an eye on our noticias page for information about upcoming events!