Another problem has emerged regarding the state’s new immigration laws passed in a special legislative session last summer: legal residents being evicted from their homes.
Last week, the Aspen Daily News reported that Francisco “Kiko” Trincado, a legal resident from Chile, will be forced to leave his home because a new law requires that he have a state driver’s license or ID card in order to live in subsidized housing.
The problem? The documents Trincado needs to get such identification won’t arrive until the summer. From the article:
“I didn’t expect this to be a problem at all because we’re married and legally he’s allowed to be here,” Yvette said. “That’s what’s so frustrating. I’ve been in Aspen almost 10 years and we got the apartment on my work history. I expected to be able to keep it and to suddenly lose my rights because I married someone who isn’t a U.S. citizen yet is really disheartening.”
Tom McCabe, director of the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority, said families are qualified as “a household” and if one member of the household, like Kiko, doesn’t meet the required criteria, the entire household is disqualified. He said the housing office consulted with its attorneys who determined they should interpret House Bill 1023 in its strictest form to stay within the law.
Even more daunting is the fact that Colorado crafted some of the roughest identification standards in the country during the special session, which has lead to a slew of problems for individuals seeking IDs through the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles-so much so, that lawmakers are currently in the process of revamping the law.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s state patrol is gearing up to start checking the residential status of drivers they pull over in traffic stops and suspect of being undocumented. This is being implemented because of another special session law, and even lawmakers are concerned over racial profiling.
Colorado is now home to the toughest immigration laws in the United States, and residents are starting to experience the brunt of the new laws-laws that were crafted during the political fury of last summer’s special session.
And as a result, life is harder for those trying to do the right thing.