The Corner

Unemployment Benefits for Illegal Immigrants: Colorado Scandal Exposed

The investigative arm of Colorado’s Independence Institute is reporting that officials at the state’s labor agency defied the law by disabling computer software and thereby allowing “unqualified citizens and illegal aliens” to receive unemployment insurance since early 2009. Here’s the story by Todd Shepherd:

Independence Investigates has obtained internal emails from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) showing that a software control intended to prevent the payment of unemployment insurance to unqualified citizens as well as to illegal aliens was shut off in early 2009.

The emails dictate that former CDLE unemployment insurance director Mike Cullen demanded “Work Order 51662” be given top priority within the department. Completion of the work order would mean various questions asked of someone filing for unemployment regarding citizenship would effectively be ignored by a computer system.

The documents also show that several individuals within the department immediately raised the issue that the work order might be circumventing the law, specifically House Bill 06-1023. HB 1023 was passed in a special session of the legislature in 2006, and mandated that certain government benefits, such as unemployment insurance, be denied to illegal aliens.

In one email, an IT technician says, “This seems to be a super fast slam dunk. Do we need anything in writing from [director] Mike Cullen as this seems to be a violation of the law (HB-1023)?”

Another email from a different IT technician predicted media fallout, saying, “…this ain’t all so hard to do, BUT we will effectively disabling the legislatures HB-1023 which is now state law. When Channel 4 news finds out, lots of people will be pointing finders [sic] and saying, ‘it wasn’t me.’”

Read the complete story here.

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