Richard Rickerson: Immigration and the ballot initiatives | SteamboatToday.com

Richard Rickerson: Immigration and the ballot initiatives

Richard Rickerson, Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs — With the scare tactics portrayed by the opponents to constitutional Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, it would seem that Colorado will fall into total financial ruin. We may have to lay off police officers, and school teachers will be in the soup lines. And the politicians may need to get jobs. — With the scare tactics portrayed by the opponents to constitutional Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, it would seem that Colorado will fall into total financial ruin. We may have to lay off police officers, and school teachers will be in the soup lines. And the politicians may need to get jobs.

— With the scare tactics portrayed by the opponents to constitutional Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, it would seem that Colorado will fall into total financial ruin. We may have to lay off police officers, and school teachers will be in the soup lines. And the politicians may need to get jobs.

However, the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C., is a national, nonprofit, public-interest membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest. 

The group has published information written by Jack Martin that Colorado taxpayers spend $1.1 billion annually to incarcerate, educate and medicate illegal immigrants. Additionally, illegal immigrant employees send $730 million abroad. 

This amount is offset by the $160 million that the illegal immigrant population pays in taxes.

We need leaders that see beyond the tax-the-public mentality. Allowing enforcement of the current immigration laws would help relieve the $925 million spent on educating, $82 million medicating and $38 million incarcerating illegal immigrants. These are net costs after federal reimbursements. This is approximately $612 in subsidy from every legal citizen household.  

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We need leaders that guide and protect the citizens of Colorado and represent the citizens of Colorado. Senators and representatives from Colorado are representing illegal immigrants instead of the citizens of Colorado. 

This misrepresentation is wrong. For this land of immigrants who have fulfilled the legal obligation established by law, it is insulting. If our legally elected officials refuse to follow the law, why should anybody else?

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