On March 12th, the Colorado House will hear another recycled and racist attempt by Representative Dave Williams (R-El Paso) to pass a bill that unfairly targets our immigrant community and goes against the constitutional values of our state and nation. HB20-1188 attempts to compromise public safety and Colorado law enforcement resources by forcing local police officers to cooperate with ICE and unconstitutionally detain immigrants.
ICE holds have been ruled unconstitutional and were eliminated last year in Colorado with HB19-1124, however Representative Williams is now seeking to make these unconstitutional ICE holds mandatory. If HB20-1188 were to pass, it would undo decades of work between community leaders and local law enforcement to increase trust and stop practices that make community members fearful of reaching out to law enforcement when they are in dire situations.
“This policy would essentially mandate racial profiling. The people of Colorado have already taken a stand against racist policing when they voted to strike down similar legislation SB 90, the ‘show me your papers’ law in 2013. Let’s put this anti-immigrant grandstanding to death and focus instead on actually representing the needs and interests of Coloradans,” said Feven Berhanu, Community Organizer with Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA).
“Advocates in Colorado have spent years in court, at the legislature, and in the community achieving significant gains to make sure local law enforcement are doing their jobs rather than ICE’s bidding,” said Arash Jahanian, Director of Policy and Civil Rights Litigation at the Meyer Law Office. “This legislation seeks to directly undermine that important work and the safety of the community. It is based on the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda and talking points rather than the law and the best interests of the community.”
“Colorado is home to a diverse group of constituents and community members, which makes us stronger as a state. Our communities have been safer due to the trust built between community and law enforcement. We must stand united against HB20-1188, which would drive a wedge of mistrust between immigrants and local law enforcement,” said Raquel Lane-Arellano, Policy Manager at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC).
“Many people who are coming to this country are desperately seeking protection from harm. A recent report found more than 60 instances in which undocumented immigrants who were deported from the U.S. were killed shortly after returning to their home countries. We should be looking for ways to fix our broken immigration system and support families – not pushing policies that perpetuate insulting rhetoric about immigrants being criminals and that could result in tearing families apart or causing an even worse human rights crisis for people trying to seek safety or make a better life for their families,” said Karla Gonzales Garcia, Policy Director with Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR).
“Colorado is stronger when we focus on policies where everyone can participate in the life of our cities and counties. This bill attempts to move our conversation and laws backwards towards policies that have been shown to fail in Colorado,” said Gabriela Flora, a program director at American Friends Service Committee.
“This policy would essentially mandate racial profiling. The people of Colorado have already taken a stand against racist policing when they voted to strike down similar legislation SB 90, the ‘show me your papers’ law in 2013.”
Feven Berhanu, COPA
On March 12th, community members plan to wear red to show their opposition to the bill and symbolize their love for the immigrant community as they testify in opposition to HB20-1188. Colorado will not stand for this bigotry and xenophobia that damages our values as Coloradans and residents of this community. HB20-1188 will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 12th at 1:30pm in HCR 0112.
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