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Why Some Documented Immigrants Could Lose State Pensions

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Following weekend rallies around the country calling for immigration reform, lawmakers are hoping to revive a bill that would cut old-age state pensions for some documented immigrants—a proposal that could help the state save an estimated $24 million. Last week, state Representative Jack Pommer (left), a Boulder Democrat and the budget committee chairman, asked the state to kill his pension bill, citing frustration that changes ate away at the savings. But yesterday, a similar bill emerged, following pressure from Republicans, who are threatening to withhold support for a larger budget bill if lawmakers don’t tackle the pension issue first, reports The Associated Press. Currently, documented immigrants are eligible to collect a retirement benefit of up to $699 a month, even if they’re receiving financial support from another source. (Citizens receiving financial support from someone else aren’t eligible for a pension.) Under the proposal, immigrants whose sponsors are able to support them would lose their pensions. Those whose sponsors can no longer take care of them would keep their pensions.

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