‘Amnesty’ for illegal immigrants feared | VailDaily.com

‘Amnesty’ for illegal immigrants feared

Brady McCombs
Special to the Daily Mike McCraken of Frisco, far right, sits with his Minuteman Project teammates, Jack Montrose and Zack Stewart, in April, looking out across the U.S./Mexican border near Naco, Ariz.

GREELEY – Wayne Allard doesn’t hesitate to criticize the proposed legislation.In fact, Allard, Colorado’s second-term Republican, said the legislation would make Colorado more dangerous for his constituents. He said illegal immigrants bring prostitution and drug trafficking with them. About illegal immigrants, he said, “They’re all the same bad characters.””The more illegal immigration you have, the more crime you have,” Allard said. “I think that just makes common sense. When they come illegally, they are criminals.” Allard, along with fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, are among those opposed to the legislation. They’re against the legislation, calling it amnesty that would reward illegal immigrants.

The proposal also has its opponents in Colorado law enforcement, including the sheriff and district of Front Range Weld County. “I think it’s a terrible proposal,” District Attorney Ken Buck said. “It reminds me of the 1986 immigration reform bill that was just an amnesty with a lot of extra promises, and the promises were never fulfilled. Now we have the problems we have.” Allard said he expects fellow Sen. John Kyl, an Arizona Republican, to introduce a different form of immigration legislation that he will support. He said he would support a tough plan that would send illegal immigrants home and make them get in line with everyone else. Allard will be surprised if the legislation passed in a Senate where amnesty bills aren’t “popular,” he said. “I don’t plan on supporting it because it grants amnesty and worse yet, once you’re in, you can buy your way in,” Allard said.

Buck said the support of the National Restaurant Association and other servers association proves the legislation is essentially an amnesty bill. He also said he wonders how this legislation will help protect the country’s borders, he said. Finally, he questioned whether the “criminal background check” would mean only felonies, allowing allow someone with multiple DUIs to qualify. Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said before he supports any new legislation, he would like to see the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement enforce the current laws. As the sheriff of a county where 15 percent to 20 percent of jail inmates are illegal aliens, Cooke said illegal immigration has become a national security issue. How can we stop an armed terrorist from crossing the borders if we can’t stop 14-year-old undocumented worker, he asked.

“Where are they going to find the time to do background checks on all these people?” Cooke asked. “If that trickles down to the local level, then I’m 100 percent against it.” In a statement, Musgrave called the legislation “open door amnesty” that would misguide taxpayer money to illegal immigrants. She said she prefers a bill she co-sponsored that would streamline the labor certification process and create a “fair, legal immigration system with amnesty” to help Weld County’s agriculture industry.Vail, Colorado

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