Reducing illegal alien crime in Colorado

This week Colorado - and especially the Denver Metro area - was shocked when a drunk illegal alien, Ever Olivos-Gutierrez, plowed into the car of Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino at a high rate of speed killing the teen. This will be Olivos-Gutierrez fourth DUI conviction since 2004, when the illegal alien overstayed his visa.

Last year Senate president Morgan Carrol and then-Senator Giron sponsored and testified for House Bill 13-1258. This bill repealed Senate Bill 06-90. SB 90 insured that local law enforcement agents and local government employees that have probable cause to believe that a person is not legally in the United States report the person to federal immigration officials. It also:

  • prohibits local governments from adopting ordinances or policies that limit or prohibit law enforcement agents from communicating or cooperating with federal immigration officials regarding the immigration status of a person in Colorado;
  • requires local governments to notify local officials of the duty to comply with the reporting requirements;
  • requires local governments to provide report statistics to the General Assembly; and
  • prohibits a local government that violates the law from receiving any grants administered by the Department of Local Affairs.

When the Democratic legislature passed House Bill 13-1258 and Gov. Hickenlooper signed it into law, they made it more difficult to identify and report illegal aliens as well as to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] accountable for deportation. Without this kind of legislation Colorado, can look forward to many more Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino type crimes as repeat offending illegal aliens are put back on the street.

This year Colorado Senator Owen Hill sponsored Senate Bill 14-061: Refer Illegal Aliens To ICE After Conviction. This bill would have required the court to determine the immigration status of a defendant after a felony conviction. If the person was in the country illegally, the court would have informed the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement before the defendant began serving his or her sentence and requested that they take custody of the defendant. This bill was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The rational for these defeats is that if the illegal alien is not picked up by ICE, the state taxpayer would have to pay to house the illegal alien indefinitely.

This is not true. If ICE refused to put a hold on the the illegal alien, he would be processed in the usual manner. The only costs would be for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to run a check and the paperwork to transfer the prisoner to ICE.

We need to make it clear to our legislators and the Governor that we want the tenets of SB 90 reinstated. We want Colorado law enforcement from top to the bottom to be proactive in detecting, detaining and deporting illegal aliens. Deportation is a tool that can reduce crime and increase public safety in Colorado. HB 1258 does not enhance public safety. SB 90 does so and that is what our state government should support.


CAIRCO Research

SB90 and other bills passed in 2006 by the Colorado legislative.