Denver, CO. – On Wednesday, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) and its partners mobilized in numbers and filled up the House State Affairs Committee hearing, testifying against the initiative of HB17-1134 introduced by Representative Dave Williams from Colorado Springs. HB-1134 sought to take Colorado backwards by re-instating “show-me your papers” legislation in the state and punishing local Sheriffs and County officials that are protecting the constitutional rights of all Coloradans by refusing to hold people for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without judicially approved warrants.
“The so-called Colorado Politician Accountability act was dangerous and extreme, not to mention unconstitutional,” said Kyle Huelsman, Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “This is the most xenophobic bill we have seen from the Colorado legislature in the past decade. Representative Dave Williams unsuccessfully attempted to pass off hateful rhetoric as mainstream immigration policy.”
In 2006 Colorado passed the show me your papers law SB-90, a bill that required local law enforcement report “suspected” undocumented immigrants to ICE. After 7 years of forcing local law enforcement to do the work of immigration officials, in 2013 the County Sheriffs of Colorado (CSOC) and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) joined with CIRC to repeal SB-90 due to the harmful impact this bill had on community policing efforts.
On Wednesday night, CSOC and the CACP again joined with immigrant rights organizations in voicing their opposition to this attempt to force entanglement of local law enforcement and ICE.
“This bill would have hurt more families as it did mine,” said Alexandra Flores, member of the Colorado Licenses Committee. “People would not talk to the police and would be afraid to communicate or report with them for fear of being handed over to immigration and deported. Colorado is a state of sound and fair laws and despite the deportation of my nephew in which was soon killed due to violence in his home country which he fled from, I still trust in the system. This law would have made the police act as immigration and our community would have immediately lost the trust they need to do their jobs.”
The community of Colorado celebrates the leadership of its legislators and the defeat of HB-1134 with a 6-3 vote from the House State Affairs Committee.