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DENVER – Two area legislators said they would not support an immigration law similar to what’s on the books in Arizona. The new standard in Arizona …
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DENVER – Two area legislators said they would not support an immigration law similar to what’s on the books in Arizona.
The new standard in Arizona requires police to ask people for citizenship papers if they are involved in a crime and if they are suspected of being in the country illegally.
State Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, said she wouldn’t support such an issue in Colorado because there is no meaningful enforcement mechanism.
“We discovered when we did immigration reform in 2006 that we can arrest as many people as we want but we have neither the money nor the space to keep them in jail,” she said. “Responsible federal agencies do not come get them from our jails.”
Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, said the immigration issue belongs to the federal government.
“Adopting state-by-state solutions to a federal problem only creates inconsistency and confusion and is a poor way to address an important national issue,” he said.
Other states have threatened to enact similar laws.
“I fervently believe this is a federal issue and states passing a mish-mash of laws will create even greater problems than we now think we have,” Hodge said. “Meaningful federal legislation must be mindful of individual civil rights, profiling possibilities and responsive enforcement. I remain hopeful that this is something our federal government will take up soon.”
President Obama said last week he doubted Congress would take up the issue before the end of the year.
“Republicans and Democrats need to come together at the federal level,” Priola said. “Otherwise, we are going to see a hodgepodge of conflicting laws being passed across the country, Arizona’s among them.”
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