Colorado Democrats kinda getting serious about illegal immigration
Posted Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 4:37 am
[Colorado] Democrats are wading into traditionally Republican territory - the issue of illegal immigration. House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said Democrats are drafting six bills that will be introduced next week. Describing the current immigration system as "broken," Romanoff said he wants a "bipartisan solution" and he expects the General Assembly to pass immigration bills from both sides of the aisle.Of course, there's the possibility he just sees how upset most people are and he's trying to craft a "Democrat-friendly" solution.
Among other things, bills by Democrats would require - if financially possible - local law enforcement to notify immigration officials if they are detaining illegal immigrants, commission a study on the effect of illegal immigration on the state economy and urge Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill."Comprehensive" is usually code for "a massive amnesty".
Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden, is drafting a bill that would punish businesses that contract with people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the country.Presumably they would already be protected from harrasment. Perhaps he's trying to prevent demonstrations by the Minuteman Project and the like. Remember: Gil Cedillo tried to make illegal aliens a protected class under the Unruh Act.
Romanoff said he plans to introduce a bill that would change civil rights laws to protect legal immigrants from harassment.
Three Democrats also are leading the push for a ballot initiative, first introduced in 2003 by anti-immigrant crusader U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo. It would bar illegal immigrants from receiving state or local government services other than those required by federal law.That's good to know, you idiot.
Romanoff wants the state "to lead by example" and not give contracts to firms that knowingly employ illegal immigrants. That's why he expects bipartisan support for a bill proposed by Rep. Bill Crane, R-Arvada, which includes that language. He said Democrats may also support other Republican bills.
Crane said he is glad to hear about Democratic support.
"I don't think (Democrats are) trying to steal our thunder," Crane said. "I think the citizens of Colorado have spoken about this issue and we need to, as a body, react to the problems."
Political experts say Democrats feel compelled to deal with illegal immigration, but face the dilemma of crafting solutions that don't alienate their constituents. [They mean illegal aliens -- LW]
The illegal immigration issue "seems to have just exploded on the agenda this year," said John Straayer, a political science professor at Colorado State University. "There are an awful lot of people out there, not just the lily whites among us, who are concerned about" this problem.