Colorado Dems Divided Over Making Their State a 'Sanctuary State' | NTK Network Colorado Dems Divided Over Making Their State a ‘Sanctuary State’

Colorado Dems Divided Over Making Their State a ‘Sanctuary State’

Virginia’s Law "has been delayed a few weeks beyond its initial expected filing date," and the Colorado Independent reported that "undoubtedly, Polis is a key factor behind the delay."

By NTK Staff | 02.28.2019 @4:03pm
Colorado Dems Divided Over Making Their State a ‘Sanctuary State’

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Democratic lawmakers in the state are divided over proposed legislation that would turn Colorado into a “sanctuary state.”

The Colorado Independent reported on Wednesday:

“Immigrant rights groups and Democratic lawmakers — who now control both chambers of the legislature — are hoping to pass two bills aimed at limiting the extent to which government agencies and law enforcers in Colorado can cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”

The first piece of proposed legislation “would ban state and local officials from using public funds or resources to help enforce federal civil immigration laws.”

The other proposed piece of legislation, more commonly known as Virginia’s Law, “would enable undocumented Coloradans to contact fire and law enforcement officials without fear that doing so will get them detained or deported.”

Virginia’s Law “has been delayed a few weeks beyond its initial expected filing date,” and the Colorado Independent reported that “undoubtedly, Polis is a key factor behind the delay.”

During the 2018 governor’s race, Polis said that he would not support any legislation that would turn Colorado into a “sanctuary state.”

According to the Independent:

“Complicating the policy discussion is the fact that, in the immigration context, there is no formal definition of the term “sanctuary.” Very generally speaking, the word is used to indicate that officials in a particular jurisdiction aren’t going to go out of their way to tip off ICE, coordinate with the agency, or help round up undocumented immigrants. Different cities have adopted the label, but put in place vastly different policies.”

“The term has become politically charged under the administration of President Trump, who on many occasions has threatened to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary” cities he has derided – with much success among his Republican base – as giving free rein to undocumented immigrants, whom he often portrays as dangerous criminals intent on gaming the system.”

That’s why advocates for the legislation, like Colorado state Sen. Julie Gonzales, who will be sponsoring Virginia’s Law, and Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, who has already proposed immigration legislation, have shied away from using the term “sanctuary state.”

“There should be a real basis” for someone being reported to ICE, Benavidez told the Independent. “If that’s a request signed off by a judge, OK — but otherwise, we shouldn’t be expending any of our resources.”

According to the Independent, “many Democratic state lawmakers clearly agree with that position.”

But support from Democratic state lawmakers, as well the ACLU and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, has not been enough to sway Polis, who has firmly said he will not sign a “sanctuary bill.”

Democratic state lawmakers also don’t seem to want to push legislation that will get vetoed by Polis, putting the two sides in something of a standoff at the moment.

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