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For Immediate Release: August 31st, 2009
Contact: Chandra Russo, (720) 273-2022, chandra@coloradoimmigrant.org

CIRC Statement on Drug Cartels Operating in Rocky Mountain National Forest

Denver, CO- CIRC has received many inquiries about our stance on drug cartels being discovered in Rocky Mountain National Forest. We take seriously any concern about safety in our state's most beautiful preserves. However, we are concerned that public opinion leaders begin to scapegoat people based on ethnicity and immigration status.

The following is a statement by Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition:

All Coloradans, and in particular elected lawmakers, should restrain from blaming entire communities for the acts of a few individuals. Moreover, it is misguided to call for increased state enforcement of federal immigration laws because of this drug situation. Looking to the recent state legislative audit of Senate Bill 90, we see that, because a perpetrator's immigration status has nothing to do with propensity for criminal action, such policies do not prevent crime and erode community trust. Research shows immigrants to be far less likely to commit crimes than native born citizens and to actually contribute to making neighborhoods safer. Lawmakers concerned about the drug trade would be better served focusing on lessening the demand for drugs in their local district than scapegoating immigrants.

Click here to read Denver Daily article including Ross' comments