Friday, December 30, 2005

Opponents say denying immigrants services won't solve Colorado woes

Most of these people come here to work, not to live on welfare services. They don't even think of it, it is not something they are used to and many don't even realize these services exist. DP

By STEVEN K. PAULSON Associated Press Writer
Jackson Hole Star Tribune: DENVER (AP) -- A ballot proposal that would bar illegal immigrants from receiving government services won't solve any problems and could end up costing taxpayers, opponents said Thursday in the first salvo of a fight that is expected to dominate Colorado next year.

"This is a national problem. It can't be solved at the state level, and any effort to do so is bound to backfire on Colorado taxpayers," said Wade Buchanan, president of the Bell Policy Center, a liberal think tank.

A recent study compiled by the center determined that legal and illegal immigrants add about $10 billion to the U.S. economy each year. He said most come here to work, not apply for government services, which is the target of the initiative.

The November 2006 ballot proposal would bar services beyond those required by federal law to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen. It would apply to state agencies and all local governments and special districts. It also would allow citizens to sue state or local governments that refuse to enforce it.

The plan is being pushed by Defend Colorado Now, a group of conservatives formed to fight illegal immigration. A similar proposal failed to make the Colorado ballot two years ago.

Buchanan said the new plan would cost taxpayers more than it saves because agencies would have to check immigration records. He also said it would leave the government open to expensive legal fights.

Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only part of it.

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