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Immigration
Alabama teacher Mark Hainds is attempting to walk the length of the U.S.-Mexico border on foot. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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Colorado economists sign letter to Trump: Immigration is a money-maker

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A whole bunch of smart Coloradans signed a letter to President Trump saying immigration is good for the American economy.

The 18 Colorado economists added their voices to a national campaign started in February by the New American Economy and the American Action Forum, two organizations hard to portray as liberal gunslingers.

“The undersigned economists represent a broad swath of political and economic views,” the letter states in part. “Among us are Republicans and Democrats alike. Some of us favor free markets while others have championed for a larger role for government in the economy. But on some issues there is near universal agreement. One such issue concerns the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.”

The Colorado economists endorsing it are:

  • Carol Dahl. Colorado School of Mines
  • Daniel Johnson, Colorado College
  • Esther Redmount, Colorado College
  • Graham Davis, Colorado School of Mines
  • Jeffrey S. Zax, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • John E. Tilton, Colorado School of Mines
  • Kristina M. Lybecker, Colorado College
  • Mark Griffin Smithm Colorado College
  • Martin Boileau, University of Colorado
  • Miles Spencer Kimball, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Philip K. Verleger, PK Verleger LLC, Colorado School of Mines
  • Robert McNown, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Robert Sonora, Fort Lewis College
  • Rutilio Martinez, University of Northern Colorado
  • Stephan Weiler, Colorado State University
  • Terra McKinnish, University of Colorado
  • Tom Thibodeau, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Tracy Mott, University of Denver

The letter has been signed by 1,500 economists nationwide, including six Nobel laureates and cabinet members from the Reagan, Clinton, Obama and both Bush administrations, according the New American Economy.

“Immigration is a shot in the arm for the U.S. economy,” John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy, said in a statement. “The data shows it, and nearly 1,500 economists know it – immigration means more talent, more jobs, and broad economic benefits for American workers and companies alike.”

The American Action Forum bills itself as a “center-right” economic think tank led by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, along with other notable Republicans.

The New American Economy was started in 2013 by former New York mayor and capitalist Michael Bloomberg, Fox News owner (among many holdings) Rubert Murdoch and hotelier J.W. Marriott Jr.  to push Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.

Bloomberg said at the beginning, “I applaud the bipartisan Gang of Eight for tackling this issue, and we will do everything we can to help them win bipartisan majorities in both houses.

“One of the best things we can do for our economy is to pass sensible immigration reform that drives innovation and creates jobs – and the sooner Congress acts, the brighter our future will be.”

The Gang of Eight senators was four Republicans and four Democrats who passed an immigration reform package out of the upper chamber in 2013, when Democrats had a majority. The bill languished and died in the Republican-led House.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Denver, was one of the eight in the gang.

In Donald Trump’s Washington, one with a paid-in-Mexico border wall and big-time deportations, the chances of similar immigration reforms don’t look good.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in February that Trump wouldn’t support the Gang of Eight proposal. The Hill newspaper pointed out that one of the proposal’s biggest critics was Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who is now Trump’s attorney general.

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