Apparently having grown tired of waiting for the federal government to “do something” about immigration reform, some Colorado lawmakers have come up with an alternate solution. Some Democrats in the state legislature have a plan which would allow the state to issue their own “purple cards” (a state-level version of a green card), offering legal status to well-behaved illegal aliens. Right up front, I’ll just say that I hope they pass this law because watching the legal challenges and fallout should be either informative or hilarious. (CBS Denver)
Colorado would have its own version of a “green card” under legislation at the state capitol.
It would be called a “purple card.”
Some state lawmakers say if Congress won’t reform the immigration system, they will. Their bill would allow anyone who has paid state taxes for at least two years and hasn’t had a felony in three years to be eligible for legal status.
The plan goes considerably further than that. In addition to granting “legal status” to illegal aliens in Colorado, one of the biggest supporters of the purple card movement claims that the program would allow all of those people to work on the books and pay taxes under their own name. So it’s a win-win, right?
And what of the employers? Never fear. The bill’s sponsor says that the state would, “protect employers who hire those with purple cards from federal penalties.”
Before going any further, we should allow that nice lady from the GEICO commercials to chime in and help out these Colorado legislators.
Yes, that’s not how any of this works. One of the GOP state legislators is quoted in the article as pointing out that this would be unconstitutional, against federal law and, “pandering to those here illegally.” Even Governor Hickenlooper chimed in, saying that such a purple card program, “has a lot of problems.”
That’s putting it mildly. The states don’t determine who has legal status to be in the country. And by encouraging employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens, you’re actually pushing them to commit a number of felonies. Also, federal law will have supremacy over these questions, so even if you pass this legislation, when the ICE agents show up they’re going to laugh at your purple cards and start arresting everyone anyway.
But as I said… give it a shot. We can always use a little entertainment in an otherwise grim news cycle and this should be a real hoot.