PORTLAND — A group of Maine business leaders is calling for a sensible and civil approach to immigration policy.

The business leaders have created what’s called the “Maine Compact” and are holding a news conference at 11 a.m. today in Portland to outline their principles and call for support from the broader business community. The Maine Compact is based on a similar effort in Utah and is intended to discourage Maine from adopting an Arizona-style immigration policy.

“Immigration has always been a positive force in the Maine economy,” David Barber, President and CEO of Barber Foods, said in a written announcement.  “We urge our fellow business leaders and policy makers in Augusta to take a calm, rational approach to the immigration debate.”

The Maine Compact calls on Maine policymakers to ensure that immigration policy affirms individual opportunity and promotes Maine’s reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.

According to the group, Arizona suffered economic losses in the millions of dollars after passing a controversial “show-me-your-papers” law to fight illegal immigration.

“Business leaders fear the impact to Maine’s economy if an Arizona copycat law moves forward as proposed,” the announcement says.