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 [Subsequently repealed in 2013 by HB 1258, passed by Democratic legislature and governor Hickenlooper.]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.