House Bill 2015 1356 killed in committee today

Article CAIRCO note: 
HB 15-1356 would have made Colorado into a de facto sanctuary state
Article author: 
Fred Elbel
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
4 May 2015
Article category: 
Colorado News
Article Body: 
Good news! Colorado House Bill 1356 was killed in committee today! Thanks for your important calls.
HB 1356 would have directed Colorado sheriffs, courts and local officials not to comply with federal immigration detainer requests.
The bill would have made it unlawful for Sheriffs to cooperate with ICE. 
It would have made Colorado into a de facto sanctuary state.

More information

Here is more information from FAIR on the bill that was written when the bill first passed the Colorado House.
On Monday, April 27, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill ("H.B.") 1356, which shields criminal aliens from the enforcement of immigration law by prohibiting state and local law enforcement from complying with requests by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). If H.B. 1356 also passes the state Senate, Colorado will become the third state in the country to enact a statewide law prohibiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities, after California and Connecticut.

Specifically, H.B. 1356 prohibits state and local law enforcement in Colorado from complying with an immigration detainer or administrative warrant issued by ICE. (H.B. 1356) An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to a state or local law enforcement agency to maintain custody of an alien for no more than 48 hours so that federal officials may assume custody for the purpose of removal from the United States. (Id.) An administrative warrant, as defined by H.B. 1356, is an immigration warrant of arrest, order to detain or release aliens, notice of custody determination, notice to appear, removal order, warrant of removal, or any other document, issued by an immigration agent that can form the basis for an individual's arrest or detention for an immigration enforcement purpose. (Id.) Additionally, H.B. 1356 prohibits Colorado courts from considering the existence of an immigration detainer or administrative warrant as a deciding factor in setting bond in criminal cases. (Id.)

H.B. 1356 was introduced after Colorado became the first state in the country to have all of its county jails agree to ignore detainer requests by ICE in all circumstances pursuant to threats of litigation made by the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU"). Beginning last year, the ACLU sent letters to sheriffs' offices all over the country urging them to stop honoring ICE detainers, arguing that any detention of an alien on the basis of an ICE detainer is a violation of the 4th Amendment. (ACLU letter, Apr. 29, 2014)

The ACLU letters threaten, in bold letters, that any law enforcement agency that continues to do so "may be held liable for damages" under federal law. (Id.) The ACLU, however, made these claims based on an erroneous reading from a single federal court decision handed down in April 2014: Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County (Case No. 3:12-cv-021317-ST). In that case, the court held that an ICE detainer alone did not substantiate "probable cause" to allow a continued detention of the alien after they are eligible for release for the original crime. (Id.) However, ACLU letters fail to mention, that since the ruling on Miranda-Olivares, ICE has changed the immigration detainer form it sends to state and local law enforcement to include language and information providing officers sufficient probable cause to satisfy the 4th amendment. With the new, more detailed immigration detainer form, the Miranda-Olivares­ case is no longer relevant to a claim of an unlawful detention on the basis of an ICE detainer. Nevertheless H.B. 1365, reiterates the ACLU letters' claims in its "Legislative declaration" section. (H.B. 1356 § 1)

Anti-cooperation legislation, such as H.B. 1365, exacerbate public safety threats because they create safe havens that encourage illegal immigration and facilitate criminal activity, especially in regard to drug- and gang- related crimes, human trafficking, and identity theft. To be successful in deporting criminal aliens, ICE needs the assistance of state and local law enforcement agencies. If the local agency does not hold the alien for ICE, it simply releases the criminal back onto the streets.

H.B. 1356 now moves to the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs where it must pass before going on to the full Senate for consideration. [Note that the bill was killed in that committed - CAIRCO.]  If the Senate approves the bill, it must then be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper's desk for approval before it can become law.