Local Votes On Immigration And A Compromise

Both parties in Congress know immigration laws need to be changed. But where do Colorado Senators stand on proposed reform, and how have they voted in the past?

It might come as no surprise that they disagreed on the issue last year, and will probably do so again this time around. But amid current news that a compromise has been reached, they’ve obviously found something to support.The U.S. Senate was debating comprehensive immigration reform this week, in an effort to obtain a bipartisan consensus building upon the proposals from last year in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act-one of which was a guest worker program favored by the Bush administration and shunned by other Republicans.

Last session Sen. Ken Salazar supported the reform proposal, although he also sponsored a successful amendment putting national security before a guest worker plan.

Sen. Wayne Allard was on the record for not supporting the measure, after the Senate rejected amendments he agreed with.

Recently, Sen. Salazar remarked that:

“I’m still convinced this thing could very well blow up,” said Salazar, a Colorado Democrat working on the legislation. “If it does blow up, it’s all over.”

Sen. Allard has also made a statement:

A spokesman for Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., said that Allard “doesn’t support the rewarding of illegal behavior when it comes to immigration.”

While Colorado has recently suffered the consequences of harsh new immigration laws made last summer by the legislature, the federal government holds the greatest power over changing what many activists and lawmakers have called a broken system.

This afternoon, Sen. Salazar announced that a compromise had been reached with a guest worker program. It’s just not known right now what exact concessions had to be made to secure a consensus.

More information about the deal can be found here.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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