More Problems With New Immigration Measures

Another law passed during the legislature’s special session on immigration last year is costing the state $2 million dollars and saving nothing, according to government budget reports.

Earlier this year, another new immigration measure was found to be virtually unenforceable by the Colorado Attorney General. Critics have also said that the special session laws are confusing employers and encouraging racial profiling. From the Denver Post:

The centerpiece of the get-tough effort was House Bill 1023, which prohibits spending taxpayer money on illegal immigrants except in cases required by the federal government.

To figure out whether the law is working, the Joint Budget Committee asked each department to report how much it was spending to enforce the law and how much the department was saving as a result.

The result: Eighteen departments reported adding $2.03 million in costs while not saving any money. None of the departments could say how many, if any, illegal immigrants were being denied state- funded services. Lawmakers expressed mixed views about the report.

According to the article, the Department of Regulatory Agencies has spent $378,107 trying to implement the new law, while the Department of Labor and Employment has spent $374,828.

But perhaps what’s more interesting, are some of the comments to the story:

Posted By: truthy (25/01/2007 4:33:13 AM)

Comment: So lets just abolish all laws and let ’em in to do what they want. Right Denver Post? Why do you morons think that 20 million uneducated racists is a good thing for America?

Posted By: margie (25/01/2007 9:16:34 AM)

Comment: This law was apparently another expensive boondoggle bill meant to look like the legislature was actully doing something while actually throwing more money down a rathole. I expected nothing more. Education of undocumented children is mandated by the federal government, as is emergency medicine,so it is pointless to see what the cost would be to enforce the unenforcable. With the tight budgets in Colorado we don’t need bills that let some people feel we are doing “something” when that money could be used for education, immunizations, heat help for the impovershed, etc. As far as 20 million uneducated racists, why not just toss those citiziens into a samll part of the country and leave them alone. Whooops aren’t there a few states south of the Mason Dixon line already doing that?

Posted By: readerqw (25/01/2007 9:54:00 AM)

Comment: Patriots don’t buy Denver Post.Mexicans don’t read American newspapers.Let this paper file for bancrupcy.They are on their way there.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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