Millions of dollars of your Colorado tax dollars are paying to jail illegal immigrants. Now one state official is asking the federal government to pay up.
Attorney General John Suthers is asking the feds to help foot the bill for housing illegal immigrants in Colorado jails.
He sent a letter to Colorado's congressional delegation urging them to get more funding from Uncle Sam.
In the letter Suthers said it cost $39.8 million in the last fiscal year
while Colorado only received $3.3 million from the federal government in aid.
Do the math and the state paid $36.5 million out of the budget to jail illegal aliens in the Department of Corrections.
Suthers also said he wants Colorado's Congressional Delegation to increase their efforts to help the state with the huge financial burdens caused by the inadequacy of the federal government to enforce its laws.
Representative Steve King says he agrees with Suthers and the state could use all the money its spending on jailing illegals to pay for healthcare, education or roads.
"The idea that the federal government is not meeting its responsibilities to Coloradoans and Colorado taxpayers is infuriating," King told 11 News on Wednesday.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says it received a copy of the letter and has not assessed whether it has made or lost money by housing illegals.
Spokesperson Heather Benjamin says we housed 278 illegal immigrants last year at an average cost of $53 a day.
But she says county jails are different than the State Department of Corrections because they are not only eligible for federal money,
but money from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement through a contract.
So even though the sheriff's office pays $53 a day to jail illegals, it gets a little more than $62 a day from I.C.E.