Saturday, June 05, 2004

Rocky Mountain News: Election

Rocky Mountain News: Election

Rocky Mountain News

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Illegal-immigrant plan won't be on ballot
By Javier Erik Olvera, Rocky Mountain News
June 3, 2004

An initiative to deny state services such as college grants and health care to illegal immigrants will not be on the November ballot.

Officials of Save Colorado Now say a legal challenge stalled their campaign to raise $200,000 needed to get nearly 68,800 signatures.

"We looked at what we wanted to achieve and the time we had available . . . and decided to . . . pursue it at a later time," said William Herron, Save Colorado Now chairman.

Committee members will spend the next couple of years trying to get support for the initiative, launched by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

Herron said members will take the initiative's message to as many people as possible and hope to put it on the November 2006 ballot.

Under the initiative, the Colorado Constitution would be amended so illegal immigrants - roughly 144,000 of Colorado's 4.5 million residents - could not get state-funded services.

The initiative would not have affected federally mandated programs, such as public education, or emergency services, such as hospital care.

Opponents were glad the initiative was dropped, saying it was mean-spirited and would have negatively affected all Coloradans.

For example, illegal immigrants would not have had access to basic medical services such as flu shots, further spreading the illness, said Keep Colorado Safe's John Britz.

Keep Colorado Safe challenged the initiative's wording twice - first with the secretary of state, then with the Colorado Supreme Court.

The group lost both times, most recently last month when the Supreme Court ruled for Save Colorado Now.

Britz anticipated early on that Save Colorado Now would drop the initiative so Republicans wouldn't lose the Hispanic vote this election. or 303-892-5113

Copyright 2004, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.


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