Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arizona Copycat Immigration Legislation Introduced in CO Senate

Today, a handful of Colorado Senators introduced SENATE BILL 11-054, a copycat version of the Arizona immigration law.

The following is a statement of Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition:

“At a time when most Coloradans are concerned about jobs and the economy, it is mind boggling that a handful of Colorado Senators would pursue the same divisive legislation that has cost the state of Arizona millions in lost tourism revenue and wasted taxpayer dollars on endless lawsuit challenges.

“ Most recent data shows that the Arizona hospitality industry alone has lost over $253 million in total economic output since the law was enacted[1]. And the numbers don’t take into account the tarnished image for business and tourism in Arizona.

“ Colorado should learn from the mistakes of Arizona and instead pursue immigration policies that reaffirm our reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.

“ Rather than pushing immigrants further into the shadows, as Senate Bill 54 would do, Colorado should embrace policies that build trust and cooperation between immigrant communities and local and state law enforcement. Such community policing is essential to victims and witnesses reporting and helping to solve crimes and ensuring overall public safety.

“ We hope and expect this Arizona copycat bill to fail in the Colorado Senate. However, in the hearing process, we Iook forward to having a civil, informed, and constructive dialogue about a vision for responsible immigration enforcement that will preserve family unity, economic wellbeing, and public safety.”