DENVER – A bill which aims to stop the cops from helping immigration agents is up for a floor debate in the Colorado House of Representatives on Monday night. House Bill 1124, dubbed the Protect Colorado Residents From Federal Government Overreach Act prohibits any public employee from any political subdivision of the state from using taxpayer funds to help enforce federal immigration laws.
The bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Adrienne Benavides (D) Adams County, said it will improve public safety.
“Really, the purpose of this bill is about public safety,” Benavides said.
She explained the fear of deportation keeps many immigrants from helping the police by testifying in court or reporting crimes.
“And so, it helps the public safety if people are not afraid to contact law enforcement,” Benavides said.
She also pointed out that Colorado is not required to help federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
“We don’t have to do anything for the federal government that is not in the Constitution.”
The bill is opposed by both the Colorado Association of Chief of Police and the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, the state’s largest police union. Mike Violette, the executive director of the CFOP said the bill creates a statewide sanctuary policy that will make residents less safe.
“We can’t support any policy that potentially would allow the release of criminals into our communities who reside in this country illegally and face deportation,” said Violette.
He pointed out violent crimes committed in other sanctuary cities and states by immigrants who would’ve been deported as proof that this bill is a bad idea.
Bill 1124 has Republican co-sponsors. It passed out of the State House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on a strict 7-4 party-line vote.