Colorado Referendum K, Demand that the Federal Government Enforce Its Immigration Laws (2006)
The official ballot question read:
Shall the Colorado state attorney general initiate or join other states in a lawsuit against the United States attorney general to demand the enforcement of all existing federal immigration laws by the federal government?
Defend Colorado Now was the group supporting this measure. Supporters argued that a lawsuit makes it explicitly clear that states want the federal government to take action to enforce federal immigration laws. An independent research group estimated that last year Colorado spent $225 million on K-12 education, emergency medical care, and incarceration of illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants also benefit from other state services provided to all residents of the state regardless of immigration status, such as public health assistance and child welfare services. The lawsuit required by Referendum K is, supporters said, an important step in reducing costs incurred by the state in dealing with illegal immigrants.
Opponents argued that requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government for enforcement of immigration laws could waste state tax dollars and the attorney general's time. The federal government has exclusive authority to determine which immigrants may enter the U.S. and to remove those who are here illegally. Other states' attempts to make the federal government enforce immigration laws indicate that Colorado's effort will likely fail, they added.
Donors to the campaign for the measure:
- Defend Colorado Now: $179,133
- Total: $179,133
- Campaign finance requirements for Colorado ballot measures
- Colorado 2006 ballot measures
- List of Colorado ballot measures
- 2006 ballot measures
- Colorado Blue Book on Referendum K
- History of Referendum K
- November 7, 2006 ballot measure election results in Colorado