Lawmakers convene regional conference on immigration
December 12, 2005
DENVER – Lawmakers from Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Arizona convened a regional conference on immigration Monday, saying they need to find solutions to the problems they share.”I don’t think the status quo is defensible or sustainable,” said Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver.He said lawmakers need to study the benefits of illegal immigration as well as the costs.Texas state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, a Democrat from San Antonio and president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said lawmakers need to get past the emotional issues swirling around immigration reform.”What we see is a lot of the emotional response and not some clear thinking,” she told a crowd packed into the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado Capitol.Texas was not an official participant in the conference sponsored by NCSL and the Colorado Legislature. Officials from New Mexico were also invited, but did not attend.Colorado Republicans, who have made immigration reform a key part of their agenda next year, said the forum was put together by Democrats without their input.The Republican Study Committee of Colorado held its own hearings on immigration Nov. 16. The committee includes 18 of the Legislature’s 47 Republicans.