50 thousand Colorado residents are trying to keep their state and federal benefits this summer and it's making lines grow at the D.M.V.
A new law is in effect today prohibiting illegal immigrants from taking state and federal benefits. That's why so many are coming to the Division of Motor Vehicles to get a secure and verifiable I.D. to prove their citizenship.
The bottom line is it's making lines longer for everyone at the D.M.V. "They want you to be legal but you can't be legal because the lines when you come in here make you wait two to three hours. I'm at work right now trying to transfer a title over... I can't afford to wait," said Jim Johnston just before leaving the D.M.V. on the east side of Colorado Springs Tuesday afternoon.
"I didn't get anything done. I'm upset with the state of Colorado and they need another D.M.V. They should be ashamed of themselves," said another customer.
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink says he's just as frustrated as the customers waiting in line. He says his offices never had to perform secure and verifiable I.D.'s until July first of this year. These are the types of I.D.'s now required under the new state law for workers to verify their citizenship. He says they wouldn't be issuing them if revenue director Michael Cook didn't make it a requirement at all of Colorado's 64 D.M.V's. "None of the 64 county clerks nor our attorneys nor the senator who wrote the bill a couple years ago -- senator John Andrews -- said the bill was intended to be used for this purpose," said Balink.
He says the new type of transaction requires 30 to 80 extra hours a day in El Paso county alone. "...Which really accounts for about half the transactions we do in a day."
Workers can also apply for a waver of the required documentation. If they get it, they have until March first to get the identification they need for state and federal benefits. Until then, everyone will have to wait longer at the D.M.V.