Whittum: This is not a state issue
August 27, 2010
To the editor:
There is a serious problem with a group of Colorado Republican legislators who traveled this month to Arizona to meet with that state's governor and legislative leaders.
They billed the trip as an opportunity to "refine (their) understanding and fortify our resolve." This trip signals that the Colorado GOP in the statehouse wants to craft a policy similar to the controversial Arizona law.
Whether or not you agree with the Arizona bill, it is simply not right for Colorado, and these legislators that went to Arizona used the bill for a political photo-op.
One of the trip's attendees was our own representative, Randy Baumgardner, who represents district 57, which includes Moffat and Routt counties.
As our state representative, Mr. Baumgardner should know that Colorado already has tough immigration laws on the books and that the legislature's efforts would be best focused on aiding employers and creating a better system of documentation on the state level.
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To attempt an enactment of the Arizona bill, as Rep. Baumgardner knows, or should know, would delay the process even more because all previous efforts would be wiped away rather than improved.
The controversy and the eventual judicial stay that was placed on the most extreme parts of the Arizona law illustrate the clear distinction between politics and effective policy.
Immigration reform must be comprehensive for it to ever work. A state-by-state patchwork is not the way to solve the problem, and Rep. Baumgardner should not play politics with this issue, but rather do his job and get to work for the people of Northwest Colorado.
Our elected officials need to get serious, seek consensus and pass comprehensive immigration reform that is enforceable, rational and most importantly, requires accountability.
It is the federal government that should be accountable to secure our borders.