Dick Lamm in immigration debate

Lamm stays tough in immigration debate


Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm and a Boston economist offered vastly different views of the impact illegal immigrants have on U.S. workers and the economy during a debate today at Metro State College.

Lamm, who was a leader in the movement to strip nonessential services from illegal immigrants, said the flow of cheap labor provided by illegal workers depresses wages and drains tax revenues to cover the cost of benefits such as education and health care.

Lamm faced free-market economist Benjamin Powell, an assistant professor of economics at Boston's Suffolk University.


Lamm said illegal immigrants offer business a cheap labor source that depresses the wages of those who are here legally. Because illegal workers pay little in taxes, Americans bear the cost of educating their children and for other services, he added.

"You don't pay your own way — you are subsidized by the taxpayers. I don't mind doing it, but I can't do it for the whole world," said Lamm.

Comment: Dick Lamm is the former Governor of Colorado. He is famous for this quote: ""We've got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life."

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