Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Senate Democrats oppose Arizona-style immigration bill

Immigration bill would hurt Colorado economy

Today, Senate Democrats stood with business leaders, law enforcement, and community members from across Colorado to oppose the so-called “Arizona Immigration Law.” Senate Bill 58 would shift the primary responsibility for immigration law enforcement from federal law enforcement agents to local police.

In addition to the burden this law has placed on law enforcement, Arizona has paid a high economic price for adopting this extreme legislation. Since its passage, the state has spent $1.5 million fighting a legal challenge, and the state’s economy has been hit hard. The negative attention the state has received as a result of their law has led to boycotts of Arizona-made products and dramatic losses for businesses. Hotels have lost $12 million from canceled meetings and conventions[1]. This does not include lost revenue by restaurants, retailers, and other tourism-based industries. It is estimated the total loss of revenue to Arizona businesses is $141 million, and $9.4 million in lost tax revenue[2].

Today, Senate majority Leader John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), a former Police Chief, commented on the defeat of Arizona Immigration bill, Senate Bill 58:

“Today we said “No” to a bill that would have hurt Colorado’s economy and cost the state jobs. We stood with employers who said this bill would hurt their businesses. We stood with members of law enforcement who said this bill would hurt their ability to keep Coloradans safe. We stood with men and women from across the state who said this bill is extreme, unwise, and wrong for Colorado.

We are focused on continuing to strengthen the Colorado economy and supporting Colorado’s families and businesses.”