Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) attacked opponent Republican Rep. Cory Gardner on immigration reform, claiming that voting for the Gang of Eight bill was the most important vote he has cast during his six years in the Senate.
"Some Republicans simply refuse to help our communities," Udall said during an event in Denver on Friday to highlight the one-year anniversary of the passage of the immigration bill that would have given a pathway to citizenship to roughly 11 million illegal aliens.
Joined by his fellow Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D.), and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), Udall and the Democrats said Republicans want illegal immigrants "in a shadow."
"Udall said his vote in favor of the Senate bill was the most important vote he has ever cast," according to the Denver Post.
Udall also accused Gardner and House Republicans of blocking a vote on the Gang of Eight bill.
"One year ago today, the U.S. Senate took a historic step toward fixing our broken immigration system by passing a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration-reform bill," Udall said in a statement. "Since then, however, the bill has languished in the U.S. House of Representatives due to inaction and lack of leadership."
"This failure to act has hurt Colorado, undermined our economy, and torn apart families," he said. "The House needs to stand with the people of Colorado and act. Anything less is a profound failure of leadership."
Udall’s remarks coincided with the release of a report that found that American-born citizens are struggling to compete for work against immigrants, and that the Gang of Eight bill would worsen the economy. All of employment growth since 2000 has gone to both illegal and legal immigrants, the report found.
Other analyses have found that the legislation, though an expansion of the guest worker program, would add an additional 30 million workers at a time when labor force participation rates are at record lows.
Gardner has said he supports immigration reform, only if the border is secured first.
"We need reform," he said last year. "I'm committed to an immigration reform package that first looks at border security, then looks at what to do with the 11 million undocumented people who are here.