Denver (AP) Business leaders say Colorado farmers, builders and others squeezed by a labor shortage will be pinched even more by the death of President Bush's immigration proposal.
The plan would've legalized as many as $12 million unlawful immigrants.
State Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp says some farmers are shifting to less labor-intensive crops because they can't find workers for their fields. Because some of those crops are less valuable, Colorado's agricultural output could drop.
Economist Tucker Hart Adams says the nearly 268,000 jobs held by immigrants in 2000 tops the 89,000 Coloradans seeking work in May. That suggests that the unemployed wouldn't be able to replace immigrant labor if it were not available