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Denver Has Considered Cutting Its Employees’ Hours and Hiring Illegal Immigrants

Facing a budget crunch, Denver considered hiring illegal immigrants but warned city workers of potential job cuts amid legal debates.

Denver is grappling with a burgeoning budget crisis precipitated by an influx of 40,000 illegal immigrants over the past year. The city’s response lays bare the complexities and contradictions inherent in trying to navigate the choppy waters of federal immigration law and local governance.

Denver’s mayor, Mike Johnston, through a spokeswoman, has acknowledged the financial strain illegal immigrants unable to work have placed on city resources. The proposed solution? To employ these very individuals in city roles, a move that, while seemingly pragmatic in addressing immediate labor needs and reducing the reliance on social services, skirts the edge of legality. Meanwhile, the city is warning its current employees that their hours might be reduced. Denver’s approach underscores a desperate attempt to mitigate the fiscal pressures without adding to the burden on taxpayers. However, it’s been deemed too risky and is currently not being pursued due to its likely illegality.

This predicament has not stopped U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D) from encouraging local governments to flout federal law. His suggestion to issue quasi-work permits to illegal immigrants represents a bold challenge to federal authority, albeit one fraught with legal and financial risks for municipalities that take up the mantle.

The irony is palpable as Denver contemplates placing illegal immigrants on the city payroll while simultaneously warning its American workforce of potential job cuts and reduced hours. The city’s precarious financial situation is a stark reminder of the unintended consequences of federal and local immigration policies that fail to align with economic realities and labor market needs.

Denver Public Schools (DPS), operating independently from the city, has taken a different approach by hiring foreign nationals and sponsoring visas to reflect the diverse student body. This initiative raises questions about resource allocation and the prioritization of educational outcomes versus social engineering goals.

The city’s and DPS’s efforts to assist illegal immigrants with obtaining Temporary Protected Status and Employment Authorization Documents further illustrate the complexities of navigating immigration law. While these efforts aim to regularize the status of newcomers, they also highlight the broader challenges of integrating illegal immigrants into the fabric of local communities without exacerbating existing social and financial strains.

This scenario, unfolding in Denver, serves as a microcosm of the broader national debate over immigration policy, local autonomy, and the role of public education. The city’s attempts to address its budget crisis through unconventional means underscore the urgent need for enforcement of our immigration laws.

As cities like Denver navigate these turbulent waters, the outcomes of their efforts will likely inform broader discussions on immigration, employment, and the role of local governments in addressing national issues. The saga unfolding in Denver is a cautionary tale of the challenges and complexities that arise when local solutions clash with federal laws and the ever-present reality of budgetary constraints.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.