Legislation

Colorado Capitol (c) F. Elbel www.CAIRCO.orgThis section contains reference material on current legislation pertaining to immigration issues, as well as prior years' legislation. 


The Colorado legislature - bills, legislative calendars, find your legislator

See the Colorado Legislature website for more information on legislation, bills, and House and Senate legislative calendars.

The Colorado Legislative Process

The Colorado Legislative Process is described in a document titled "The (Colorado) Legislative Process", published by Colorado.gov.

View the document The (Colorado) Legislative Process (March, 2013) You can also view the current version online: The Legislative Process.

Single copies of journals, calendars, and status sheets (as well as bills) are available in the bill room located in the basement of the Legislative Services Building at 200 East 14th Avenue. Adjacent to the bill room is the legislative information center, which is a one-stop location to find information on the status of bills and other measures before the General Assembly. The center, as well as the bill room, are staffed only during the legislative session.

Information on bills can be obtained by calling 303-866-3055 or 1-888-473-8136. The best one-stop source of information on legislative activities is the Colorado General Assembly website.

Research current and past Colorado bills, hearings, history, and calendars

Here is information on the Colorado Legislative Process - how a bill becomes law.

The Colorado General Assembly website is the primary resource for researching current bills before the legislature as well as bills heard in previous sessions. You can also watch video and listen to audio broadcasts of the general assembly committee hearings. Here are specific links to pages on the General Assembly website:

Also see the Post Bill Tracker

Single copies of journals, calendars, and status sheets (as well as bills) are available in the bill room located in the basement of the Legislative Services Building at 200 East 14th Avenue. Adjacent to the bill room is the legislative information center, which is a one-stop location to find information on the status of bills and other measures before the General Assembly. The center, as well as the bill room, are staffed only during the legislative session.

Information on bills can be obtained by calling 303-866-3055 or 1-888-473-8136. The best one-stop source of information on legislative activities is the Colorado General Assembly website.

Bills in the 2013 legislative session related to immigration

2013 Colorado immigration bills of interest

SB13-251 - Driver's licenses for illegal aliens: Driver's License & Identification Documentation

 

HB13-1258 - the anti-cooperation bill to repeal SB90, the bipartisan 2006 ban on sanctuary cities:

SB 90 was passed in the regular bipartisan 2006 Colorado legislative session in order to ban sanctuary cities. Here is a summary of bills passed in the regular 2006 Colorado legislative session.

The 2013 Democratic legislature has introduced an anti-cooperation bill to repeal 2006 SB 90. HB13-1258 - the Community And Law Enforcement Trust Act. HB13-1258 is an anti-cooperation bill designed to prevent local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration officials, thus making sanctuary cities once again possible in Colorado.

Key points why HB 1258 should not be passed:

  • HB 1258 is an anti-cooperation bill. If a law enforcement officer spots a previously deported gang member, anti-cooperation policies prohibit detaining him unless he actually commits another, non-immigration crime. It should be noted that illegal re-entry after a deportation is a federal felony, so that is grounds for arrest all by itself.
  • The main argument by supporters in favor of HB 1258 is that since the federal ICE Secure Communities program is now in effect in all 64 Colorado counties, the need for SB90 is eliminated. However, unless and until we have some reliable numbers from Denver and other counties on the deportations of criminal aliens under the ICE Secure Communities program, we can not possibly conclude that the Secure Communities program has replaced SB90. Thus, revoking SB90 would in practice leave nothing to replace it.
  • See the article Democrats plot to betray citizens on amnesty for a good analysis of why the Secure Communities program is not sufficient to justify revoking SB90.
  • Current cooperation law (Colorado Revised Statues article 29 of title 29) is reasonable - it does not apply to those arrested for minor traffic infractions or suspicion of domestic violence.
  • By preventing local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, we are only encouraging more illegal immigration into the US.
  • Sanctuary cities are illegal, made so by federal legislation enacted in 1996. Just because the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to enforce that law does not empower states to violate that law.  
  • Because HB 1258 violates federal anti-cooperation law, ICE could cut off federal funds if it becomes law.
  • Sanctuary cities act as havens for illegal aliens who take much needed jobs from Americans in this terrible economy.
  • ICE Director John Morton has said that anti-cooperation policies will lead to additional crimes that could have been prevented.
  • The "safety clause" of the bill is not applicable - the bill is not necessary "for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety." The "safety clause" is ironic because the bill would worsen, not preserve the public peace, health, and safety. The clause will also make it more difficult to correct the bill with subsequent legislation or initiatives.

 

More information about the bill:

  • Here is the text of HB13-1258 - The Community And Law Enforcement Trust Act.
  • Heard by the House committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs on March 18, 2013. Passed to the full house on a vote of 9-2.
    Passed by the House on March 25, 2012 and sent to the Senate. The Senate assigned the bill to the Senate Judiciary committee.
  • Here is HB13-1258 history and status.
  • Fiscal note attached to HB13-1258 includes: "The existing fiscal impact of Article 29, Title 29, C.R.S., is primarily the cost to hold individuals in county jails for more time than might otherwise be required without the law. Local governments also have costs to train local officers on the requirements of the law, to track the number of ICE reports made annually, and to report statistics to the General Assembly."

Status: passed - signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper on April 26, 2013.

 

SB13-033 - in-state tuition for illegal aliens:

HB13-1050 - purge voter registration records of all non-citizens

  • HB13-1050.
  • CAIRCO supports this bill.
  • Heard before State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Judiciary Appropriations Committee on January 30, 2013.
  • Postponed Indefinitely - killed in committee by overwhelming Democratic vote, 7 to 3. Votes to kill the bill:
    Foote Yes, Humphrey Excused, Labuda Yes, Melton Yes, Moreno Yes, Nordberg No, Scott No, Williams Yes, Salazar Yes, Ryden Yes.

HB13-1098 - Colorado Mandatory E-verify Act

This bill requires that every employer in Colorado use the federal E-Verify system to confirm that every new hire is legally eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify is free, simple to use, and highly reliable. This bill would make more jobs available to Coloradans who are struggling to make ends meet in a "recovery" where the unemployment rate is nearly 8%. This bill improves on an existing state employment verification program that was put in place by Democrat legislators in 2006 but is not reliable because it depends on easily forged paper documentation. Amnesty supporters, on the right and the left, will oppose this bill. But the issue needs to be raised.

  • HB13-1098. Rep Swalm is the prime House sponsor of the Colorado Mandatory E-verify Act. Rep Harvey is the prime Senate sponsor.
  • CAIRCO supports this bill.
  • Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs on January 17, 2013.
  • Killed - Postponed Indefinitely by Democrat-controlled House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs, February 11, 2013. 

How to contact your Colorado elected public servants

Here is how to contact Colorado state legislators in your district / city / county.

Research bills

Here is information on the Colorado Legislative Process - how a bill becomes law.

Here is more information on researching Colorado bills, House and Senate calendars, etc.

Colorado immigration legislation passed in 2006

The following 2006 immigration legislation was a direct result of the 2006 Defend Colorado Now initiative.

Bills passed in the regular 2006 Colorado legislative session

  • SB 90 - Requires law enforcement officials to report suspected illegal aliens when they are arrested to federal immigration officials, except in cases of domestic violence and minor traffic violations. Prohibits state and local governments from enacting policies that stop cooperation with immigration officials, thus making sanctuary cities illegal. Effective May 1, 2006. [Subsequently repealed in 2013 by HB 1258, passed by Democratic legislature and governor Hickenlooper.]
     
    Key provisions of the statute are as follows:
    • Local governments cannot create a policy that bars police from cooperating with federal officials concerning the status of any person in Colorado.
    • Police must notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency if a person arrested for a crime is a suspected illegal immigrant.
    • The law does not apply to those arrested for minor traffic infractions or suspicion of domestic violence. However, immigration officials must be told if a person is convicted of domestic violence.
    • Cities and counties must notify local law enforcement officers in writing of their obligation to comply with the law.
    • Cities and counties must file an annual report to the state regarding how many illegal immigrants they reported to immigration officials.
    • Local governments that fail to report suspected illegal immigrants will not be eligible for state grants.
  • HB 1306 - Requires an audit of 2003 law HB-1224 - The Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act that limits the use of identification issued by foreign governments, thus prohibiting general acceptance of the Mexican Matricula Consular ID card. Effective August 7, 2006.
  • HB 1343 - Requires state contractors to use the federal Basic Pilot database to check the immigration status of new hires. Denies state contracts to businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Effective August 7, 2006.
  • SB 110 - Making counterfeit identification documents is punishable by a $50,000 civil fine. Effective May 30, 2006.
  • SB 206 - Makes human smuggling and paying someone to sneak an illegal alien into the country a state felony. Effective May 30, 2006.
  • SB 207 - Makes human trafficking and selling adults into indentured servitude or prostitution a state felony. Effective May 30, 2006.
  • SB 225 - Creates a new unit of state troopers (12 in the first year and 24 the next year) specially trained to investigate human smuggling. Effective June 6, 2006.

Bills passed in the 2006 July special Colorado legislative session

Below is a summary of bills passed by both houses. On July 31, 2006, Governor Owens signed these ten bills. In addition, two bills went directly to the voters in the November, 2006 election.

  • HB 1001 - Employers must demonstrate they don't have illegal alien workers in order to qualify for state economic-development grants, loans and incentives. Effective on or after October 1, 2006.
  • HB 1002 - State health officials must treat all persons, regardless of immigration status, in the event of an epidemic or communicable-disease outbreak. Effective immediately.
  • HB 1009 - Colorado will deny state business permits and professional licenses to illegal aliens. Effective January 1, 2007.
  • HB 1014 - The Colorado attorney general must seek reimbursement from the federal government for all illegal-immigration costs incurred by the state. Effective immediately.
  • HB 1015 - A person who pays someone for services and reports the payment on IRS form 1099-MISC must withhold state income taxes at the rate of 4.63 percent if the worker fails to provide a correct taxpayer ID number or provides an IRS-issued taxpayer ID number issued for nonresident immigrants. Main provision is effective January 1, 2008.
  • HB 1017 - Requires employers to attest that employees are legally in the country and that the employer has not altered or falsified the employee's ID documents. It requires employers to maintain copies of identification for new employees and authorizes random inspections. This bill is a good foundation toward necessary employer sanctions against hiring illegal aliens, but it does not mandate use of the federal Basic Pilot program to verify immigration status. DCN hopes this serious flaw will be corrected in the next legislative session. Employers must comply starting January 1, 2007.
  • HB (House Bill) 1023 - The most important reform bill to come out of the session. This bill limits state services to illegal aliens and embodies the essence of the DCN initiative and is similar to section 9 of the strong Georgia immigration law passed in 2006.
     
    HB 1023 requires each applicant who applies for public benefits to affirm that they are lawfully present in the country, and thus denies most non-emergency services to illegal aliens over the age of 18. Those seeking benefits must present valid ID (from a list determined by the Colorado Department of Revenue) and sign a non-notarized affirmation of lawful presence. If a legal alien utilizes a green card, verification of the A-number is confirmed with US Citizenship and Immigration Services via the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) program. Illegal aliens will continue to receive federally mandated services, including K-12 education, but are denied a multitude of previously obtainable services. Effective immediately.
  • SB (Senate Bill) 4 - Makes it a felony to extort services from illegal aliens through threats based on their immigration status. Effective immediately.
  • SB 5 - Makes it a felony to coerce involuntary servitude by withholding or destroying immigration documents or making threats based on person's immigration status. Effective immediately.
  • SB 7 - Makes it a felony for people to vote in an election in which they are not entitled to vote. Effective immediately.

Two measures were referred to the voters in November 2006 to limit tax deduction for illegal alien wages and to demand Colorado's Attorney General sue the federal government to demand enforcement of federal immigration laws.

  • HB 1020 - Should employers who cannot verify an employee is a legal U.S. resident be prohibited from claiming that employee's wages as a deductible business expense? It would apply to employees hired on or after January 1, 2008, and who were paid $600 or more in one year. The measure was referred to the voters in the November, 2006 election and was passed by the voters.
  • HB 1022 - Should the state attorney general sue or join with other states in suing the federal government demanding "enforcement of all existing federal immigration law" by the federal government? The measure was referred to the voters in the November, 2006 election and was passed by the voters. However, the suit was thrown out by a federal judge in 2007.

The 2006 immigration legislation was a direct result of the 2006 Defend Colorado Now initiative.

View details about these bills on the Colorado General Assembly 2006 legislation page.

HB-1224 - the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (2003)

As a result of the proliferation of the non-secure Mexican Matricula Consular ID card, Colorado passed in 2003 the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (2003 HB 1224). You can read the entire bill on the Colorado Legislature website: Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (HB03-1224).

HB-1224 states that:

A public entity that is issuing an identification card, license, permit, or official document shall not authorize acceptance of an identification document, nor shall a public official acting in an official capacity accept an identification document before issuing such documents, unless such identification document is a secure and verifiable document.
 
Secure and verifiable document" means a document issued by a state or federal jurisdiction or recognized by the united states government and that is verifiable by federal or state law enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agencies."

Provisions of HB-1224

  • HB-1224 seriously discourages the use of any ID card issued by any other foreign government that is not "secure and verifiable" by the United States Government, including the bogus the Mexican Matricula Consular identification card. This means that only identification authorized specifically by United States government agencies will be acceptable in Colorado.
  • In essence, government employees who accept the Matricula Consular, or another from of non-secure and unverifiable identification, are risking the loss of their governmental immunity if they accept the card for any government services and will have direct liability from civil litigation. Law enforcement has been given some narrow exceptions to the governmental immunity provisions, but have been given an additional responsibility to collect information from people presenting non-secure and unverifiable ID's. The law also gives new tools to local prosecutors to bring people who present false identification to trial -- and provides new incentives for police officers to detain such individuals.
  • HB-1224 changes Colorado statutes, clarifying that when a person knowingly presents false documentation to a police officer (including a false Matricula Consular card, false Social Security Card, or false Immigration card), the presenter may be prosecuted for presenting false identification to law enforcement. Previously, the law required that the person presenting the card intended to commit fraud. HB-1224 removes the fraud standard from the statute, allowing people who present false identification to be prosecuted.
  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable to use to receive a library card, have a city business license issued, demonstrate eligibility for state or local government services (such as a marriage license or automobile registration), or to obtain public housing or other services.
  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable for the granting of public services. The only exception to this is that the children born in the United States may show a hospital identification tag, or similar hospital identification, prior to receiving their U.S. birth certificate. This is according to current interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that confers U.S. citizenship upon children born in the United States.
  • When person who presents a non-secure and unverifiable identification card to state or local law enforcement, as part of a routine traffic stop, or as part of an arrest, the arresting officer may use the information on the card as part of his or her investigation into the identity of the person. However, all information from the identification card must be recorded by the officer and retained for public inspection. If feasible, the person presenting the identification card shall also be finger printed.
  • State and local police may also rely upon information recorded on a non-secure and unverifiable identification card when it is part of the identification discovered on a dead body.

For more information, see the Matricula Consular ID issues section.