The Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) was created in 2005 by Hispanic immigrant leaders from the communities of Grand Junction, Delta, Olathe, Montrose, and Hotchkiss. These first-generation leaders participated in faith formation programs within the Catholic Church and realized the need to reach a rapidly changing population. Addressing the needs of the new Hispanic immigrant community in the Western Slope led to action, organization, and the formation of HAP.
Nationally, the immigrant rights movement ignited around comprehensive immigration reform and HAP members worked tirelessly for federal legislation to address the broken immigration system. Improving the challenges faced by immigrant families, such as lack of integration, social inequalities, and limited opportunities for economic development, remains the focus of our work. At the local, state, and federal levels, we advocate for pro-immigrant policy changes that protect and increase access to resources for immigrants. Our efforts have led to a number of significant victories.
We are grateful to fill a unique niche in the region, and are proud of our achievements made for and by the Hispanic community:
**Among other successes, we worked with partners to build a statewide coalition to support the SB21-087 Agricultural Workers’ Rights legislation. This was passed in 2021, providing state labor and employment protections for migrant and seasonal farm and ranch workers. This success builds on our federal wins against the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Homeland Security, as a result of which the range worker (sheepherder) worker salaries were increased from $750 to $1,206.
**We also helped make changes to the H2A Range Worker visa program to provide more permanent visas and improved employment opportunities for workers in this program.
**As part of COVID-19 Emergency Response efforts, we created the Western Colorado Immigrant Relief Fund focused on providing emergency rent, utility, and food/ household assistance to families excluded from government COVID-19 emergency relief programs.
**We launched the first-ever nonpartisan Get Out The Vote campaign to encourage the participation of Latino voters in the 2020 general election focused on voter registration and education. We continue to help register New Americans and encourage immigrant and Latino voters to vote!
**Through our immigration legal assistance program, we have provided reliable low-cost services to over 1,000 individuals, which leads to greater social and economic stability for entire families.
**Annually, we connect over 1,500 families with resources through direct assistance, outreach and education, and online communications.