The Republican Study Committee of Colorado held what Democrats and immigration rights groups are calling an “extremist” gathering Monday that seemed to set a partisan tone for the year to come. As Republicans in the state Legislature voiced support for an Arizona-style law to crack down on illegal immigration, state House Minority Leader Sal Pace, a Pueblo Democrat said, “Foisting a one-size-fits-all law, such as Arizona’s 1070, onto our unique state isn’t the thoughtful answer Coloradans deserve” (via The Denver Post).
The GOP committee made claims within an economic context, citing numbers of the supposed taxpayer costs of illegal immigration. Senator-elect Kent Lambert, a Republican and current state representative from Colorado Springs, visited Arizona over the summer to learn more about the new law there, which is facing a legal challenge from the Obama administration (via 7News). He predicted that Colorado lawmakers will seek to legalize the controversial E-Verify program, which requires employers to conduct background checks via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Meanwhile, across from the Capitol at the Denver City and County Building, about 40 advocates gathered to show support for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which creates a pathway for undocumented students who have attended school in the United States for more than five years and who emigrate before the age of 16 to obtain in-state tuition or enlist in the U.S. military. Although the DREAM Act will be voted on at the federal level, where it has stalled on various occasions over the years, City Councilman Paul Lopez was effective in convincing the majority of his fellow council members to pass a proclamation in support of DREAM, reports The Denver Post.