Colorado’s Phony Cost Study

The Colorado Fiscal Institute has issued a report entitled Misplaced Priorities: SB90 & the Costs to Local Communities, in which it claims that the enforcement of SB90 has proven to be expensive.

According to the report, Colorado spends more than $13 million per year as a result of the law by arresting and detaining suspected unauthorized immigrants and reporting them to ICE. However, the National Council of State Legislatures, a non-political association, describes SB90, enacted in 2006, as a bill that, “… prohibits any state or local government from enacting legislation that impedes law enforcement agencies from cooperating or communicating with federal officials concerning an arrestee who is suspected to be illegal.” That clearly implies that the purpose of the law was not to increase local enforcement measures, but rather simply to prohibit any lessening of effort.

That means that, contrary to the report’s claim, the law was not responsible for increased costs. In fact, the report is not even logical in the costs that it claims to document. The methodology used was to attribute any period of detention of deportable aliens under a detainer request from the Department of Homeland Security as an additional cost to the state, as if the state were not detaining deportable aliens at the request of federal authorities before the adoption of the 2006 law.

This report exemplifies some of the contrived studies that are increasingly appearing to bolster the arguments of the proponents of amnesty for illegal aliens.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Those that favor illegal hispanics usually believe in a high demand model for consuterm goods. The problem is the birthrate in Mexico and even here recently is dropping as Mexicans become more second generation for the first time they usually don’t want the kids there parents have.

    • avatar

      So True

      Yet immigration is the sole fault for adding to overpopulation instead of depopulating America, now, anyway….read the article above.

      What good is the low birthrate doing us?

  2. avatar

    Well, not certain about Colorado but every hispanic school district in California has there children on the free and reduce lunch programs at least 60 percent or more, while mostly white are under 20 percent.

  3. avatar

    The Colorado Fiscal Institute contrives by pointing to the cost of enforcement but ignores the cost caused by the presence of the undocumented. Not having them here is a cost saver since it means that they will not receive benefits. Also there being here causes unemployment from displacement and lower wages resulting in Americans adding more people to the list of net recipients.

    • avatar

      How much would it save not to have to pay for schooling for their four and five kids. American kids can’t learn because of overcrowded schools and having to slow down for those who can’t speak English.

  4. avatar

    How much is welfare for the children of illegals? Another trick “study” being put forth is to claim that whites “use more than their share” of government programs. But that’s only if you count Social Security and Medicare which people pay into their whole lives. If you want to look at only what are traditionally called welfare programs whites are less on average to use them than blacks or Hispanics.