State Senator-elect Kent Lambert, a Colorado Springs Republican, would like to follow the lead of the Grand Canyon state when it comes to tackling illegal immigration, and he plans to introduce a series of bills in the Colorado General Assembly's upcoming session, reports The Colorado Independent. Lambert is likely be among a group of conservative lawmakers gathering for a summit today at the state Capitol to discuss the matter (via The Denver Post).
Many states expect to be mired in debate over their own interpretations of Arizona's controversial immigration law, and there are efforts to place measures on ballots in California and Iowa in upcoming elections, writes Fox News.
In Colorado, Republicans control the state House, but Democrats hold the Senate by a 20-15 majority, as well as the governorship through Governor-elect John Hickenlooper. Still, Lambert says he believes there is a "chance" his effort will succeed, "because it is possible that some of the Democrats will listen to what their constituents are telling them."
But elected officials are also facing pressure from a growing Latino voting bloc that was promised a different kind of immigration reform in 2008 by President Barack Obama. While former Denver Mayor Federico Peña says Republicans are the ones who stood in the way of those reforms, Latino leaders are looking to get tough with Democrats, saying critical support in the 2012 elections could be at stake. Julieta Quiñonez, a 24-year-old youth organizer for Denver-based Padres Unidos, tells The Denver Post that "as an organization that works with a lot of people who are undocumented, you can tell there is disappointment."