Yesterday's New York Times switched the national spotlight onto a fascinating story based in Greeley. "Paying Taxes, and Fearing Deportation" focuses on Amalia's Translation and Tax Services, a business that has prepared tax returns for a mostly Hispanic clientele since the '90s. Last October, the Weld County Sheriff's Office, knowing that the Internal Revenue Service requires every worker, whether in this country legally or not, to pay taxes on income earned in the U.S., seized thousands of returns from the business. Since then, forty people have been busted based on the information obtained by authorities, and District Attorney Ken Buck (pictured) said 65 more arrest warrants are in the pipeline. "I don't care whether they are meth addicts or petty thieves or illegal immigrants," he told the Times. "What matters most to me is that they are committing felonies through identify theft."
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado disagrees with this move; the organization filed a lawsuit last week claiming that the county had "violated privacy rights of thousands of taxpayers." Meanwhile, questions remain about whether the action is cost-effective. Those who want stricter immigration policies believe that those in America without proper documentation suck up an incredible amount of resources by taking unfair advantage of entitlement programs -- but according to the Times, the IRS "says illegal immigrants paid almost $50 billion in taxes from 1996 to 2003."