Illegal aliens cost Colorado billions annually

March 28th, 2006

Will we act or not?
By Former Governor Dick Lamm

    Introduction by John Andrews: Defend Colorado Now, the ballot issue campaign to end non-emergency, non-federally-mandated taxpaid services to illegal aliens, of which I’m co-chairman, today held a Capitol press conference to release an economic impact study on this growing problem. Click here to join the campaign. And click here to see the full study, with the shocking total price tag for our state given on pages 2 and 8. Dick Lamm, honorary campaign chairman, commented as follows:

Last November, Colorado engaged in a contentious debate over Referenda C & D seeking the authority for the state government to keep some of the funds scheduled to be returned to the taxpayer under the TABOR Amendment. At the same time, without debate and with little discussion by the media or the political leaders, illegal immigration in Colorado was costing Colorado taxpayers two or three times the amount so bitterly fought over last November.

Now for the first time, Donald Rice sets forth in one study the most authoritative collection of estimates of the costs to Colorado taxpayers and workers of illegal immigration. Using only the most authentic of sources, Rice found that illegal immigration will cost Colorado over $1 billion in 2006 and promises to do so in growing amounts, next year and the year after, ad infinitum.

This is a cautious, fact-based study which Defend Colorado Now feels significantly understates the magnitude of the problem because illegal immigration has so dramatically increased and the original studies necessarily cited by Rice are years behind reality and understate the real cost. Studies look in the rearview mirror and always understate a growing problem. Like a flood on the South Platte, by the time we get the report from Douglas County, a much larger flood has hit Denver.

That said, the Rice study give us a scholarly, rock-solid study with unimpeachable statistics.

A silent invasion of illegal aliens has spread throughout Colorado, providing some employers with “cheap labor” but imposing immense costs on Colorado taxpayers and placing serious new burdens on our school systems, health care systems, and law enforcement. A burden that has no moral or legal justification!

Rice estimates (p. 8, line 55) that the total cost to Colorado of illegal immigration for Medicaid, K-12, education and incarceration is $1,025,518,839 per year. That number includes $64,531,983 of State General funds spent on Medicaid for illegals.

Rice also estimates an additional economic loss to Colorado workers of $2 billion ($2,030,807,803) caused by the downward drag of illegal labor to wages paid by Colorado employers.

We submit this report as a scholarly, conservative, bottom-line economic impact analysis that while it understates the full magnitude (DCN estimates there may be twice the number of illegal immigrants in Colorado than the figures Rice necessarily uses), clearly shows that illegal immigration is costing Coloradoans in reduced paycheck and increased taxes.

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Comments on this article

  • This is the major issue of our time. People who take oaths to uphold our laws seem to be telling us that the oath is selective. Blatant smugglers not arrested, border bashers not arrested and foreigners who pay taxes not arrested for fraud in the use of another’s ssa number. This is a terrible break down in enforcement. We need to enforce our laws and protect our borders.

    We also need a guest worker program that is separate from border protection. A guest is someone who is not a dependent to be supported by those who do not benefit from his stay. The program must register employers and require them to be responsible for their guest worker’s welfare. The employer must provide health insurance, compensation insurance and collect all taxes. In lieu of ssa taxes the guest workers should pay an equivalent amount as a special work privilege tax that is distributed to the state of employment for support of schools. Guests should also agree as a condition of entry that any child born here is not an American citizen. In other words a guest worker should have no negative cost impact on US citizens. When the guest leaves a job and is not picked up by another registered employer. The guest must leave the country. Any guest (including family members) who commits a felony should be deported and never allowed to return.

    John, we need to know where each candidate stands on this issue.

    by Jim Homer

  • President Andrews, I support your position on this issue, and truly hope that our State’s Legislature will make good progress this session toward reducing this burden, and alleviating illegal immigration, and that the U.S. Congress will get some backbone to addressing the problem similarly. It distresses me that President Bush cannot see to help resolve this problem on the basis of principle, rather than from a purely political perspective. Do you have an entre with him? Are there not more sensible folks like yourself who can lead him in a better direction?
    And what about the many employers who are benefiting from this at our expense. Can they not be made to see the shortsightedness of the their willingness to currently capitalize on the the current situation?

    by robert rodefeld

  • Thank you, John, for info. on cutting the free lunch for illegals.

    by Joe Friedman

  • Hi John and American crew,
    My boss was asleep to what was happening, but
    since I’ve been educating him, he is waking up.
    Even brought an excellent article by Thomas Sewell yesterday.
    Just in case you haven’t seen this, I got this this morning:
    NoInvaders.Org – Take Action Against Illegal Immigration

    Pick your state – then pick your town or a town near you – find out what
    employers are hiring illegal aliens in your area.

    Directory of Bad Employer Profiles/Contact Information

    by Janet Lee Meisinger

  • Our politicians do not represent the taxpaying citizens and companies who employ them anymore. Thru our company’s dealing with the government on federal projects, we were educated as to how many of our elected officials operate outside the law and are only interested in being re-elected. Our hat is off to Tom Tancredo, one of the few representatives with any guts. The illegal issue has killed the business of the company that we have operated in western Colorado for 25 years. Wepay good wages and benefits to US citizens while our competition hires and trains illegals. A simple severe fine / head to companies that employee illegals would quickly solve the probelm (Duh!). No jobs, no swarm of illegals. The people we have elected to represent we the taxpayers have forgotten who pays their meal ticket. Take an active role and be heard! Bill Waldron / General Manager Rocky Mountain Group of Companies / Hotchkiss,Colorado

    by Bill Waldron

  • Hi Friends,
    We so appreciate the information we have
    learned from other Coloradoans on this website!
    We’re wondering if people are understanding
    that of the two big corporations recently raided, one harboring 1,000 illegals and one 1,400 illegals – both were foreign-owned, one from Germany and the other from Holland. Foreign-controlled corporations like these do not contribute to the costs they are causing city, county and state governments by breaking our countries immigration laws, unless they get caught. It will be interesting to see just what these corporations will now pay – and to what
    entity. To be fair, we should divide the cost to our ‘systems’ by each illegal, and charge them that amount plus other penalties. The money should really be kept locally where they have caused the most problem.
    Janet Lee Meisinger

    by Janet Lee Meisinger


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