Illegal immigration foes launch campaign to limit state services
DENVER – A campaign to bar illegal immigrants from getting most state services kicked off Thursday at a rally at the state Capitol with speakers faulting Congress, President Bush, big corporations and liberals for failing to take action on immigration.Defend Colorado Now needs about 68,000 signatures to get the proposed constitutional amendment on November’s ballot but will seek about 100,000 as a cushion.Members of the group, which includes former Democratic Gov. Dick Lamm and former Republican Senate President John Andrews, are still waiting on a ruling in a legal challenge to the proposal but decided to start collecting signatures anyway.Fred Elbel, director of Defend Colorado Now, said if the court finds a problem with it, the proposal will be revised and supporters will start gathering signatures anew.Elbel said this month’s massive demonstrations by immigration supporters has galvanized his backers.Lamm said he first realized illegal immigration was a problem when he was governor and some meatpackers told him they had been fired and replaced by illegal workers who made less money and no benefits.Lamm blamed a business push for ever-cheaper labor and “open-border liberals” for preventing a crackdown on illegal immigration.
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