Last night, Gov. Bill Owens said he will call a special session of the Colorado legislature this summer to deal with immigration issues. It appears that the two competing immigration groups, Defend Colorado Now and Keep Colorado Safe, have reached an an agreement that would result in a state statute rather than a constitutional amendment.

Their proposal would list the state services that would be denied illegal immigrants. It would also require employers to verify workers’ legal status.

Gov. Owens reportedly isn’t thrilled with the compromise.

When the compromise was announced, however, Lamm said, Owens was angry. A few hours later, Owens said he would call a special session.

Gov. Owens will call a press conference to announce the special session at 2:00 p.m. today.

Both sides are said to be using the immigration issue to curry favor with the voters in November. Analysts say being perceived as soft on illegal immigration could hurt at the polls.

The Rocky Mountain News reports the compromise, modeled on a Georgia law, would:

  • Discourage employers from hiring illegal immigrants by prohibiting them from claiming wages of $600 or more paid to illegal workers as a tax deduction.
  • Require a 6 percent state income tax to be withheld from an illegal immigrant’s wages when an IRS form 1099 has been filed.
  • Require that state and local government agencies verify the immigration status of adults applying for certain taxpayer-provided benefits.