“No Cost” Immigration Bill Has Costs

The recent Special Session of Colorado’s Legislature produced House Bill 1023.  Touted as the “strongest”, “toughest” measure in the nation, the goal of the bill is to deny state money going to undocumented immigrants in Colorado.

Before the bill passed, the Colorado Legislative Council Staff released a Fiscal Impact (pdf) to evaluate what costs to state and local governments House Bill 1023 would have.The cost of denying undocumented workers state services was estimated at less than $5,000 for the state.  No number was listed for local governments, just a note saying costs “will be minimal both in terms of total costs and a percentage of their overall budgets.”

An article in today’s Daily Camera hints at some of the unintended costs and consequences of the Special Session:

College students in Colorado who pay in-state tuition or receive financial aid will likely go through added layers of screening as administrators scramble to comply with immigration reforms requiring tougher residency checks.

At the University of Colorado, officials are considering hiring several staff members to collect forms from students and check their photo identifications to make sure they are legal residents. Another possibility is that students will fill out online forms, providing their driver’s license or identification numbers and giving sworn statements that they are U.S. citizens or are in the country legally, according to Bursar Barbara Todd.


Hiring new people costs money.

This also fails to take into account the added time and effort every single Colorado college student will have to take to make sure they’re IDs are all “up to par” when dealing with their respective schools.

I’m sure this won’t be the only instance of people within different government agencies “scrambling” to comply with HB-1023, so expect to see more pieces like this.

And as we know, time is money.  You can actually calculate the value of your time with this online tool provided by MSN. 

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