Photo: Joe Salazar
State lawmaker Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton, has proposed abolishing a package of anti-immigrant laws that have been on Colorado’s books since 2006 including the one that demands the cooperation of local police with federal immigration authorities.
Salazar, an attorney with expertise in civil rights and one of the founders of the Colorado Latino Forum, on Wednesday presented bill HB13-1258, which soon will be debated in the state affairs committee of the local House of Representatives.
According to the legislator, the state’s prevailing immigration laws are obsolete, their enforcement is costly and the results are dubious.
At the beginning of January, Salazar had promised to sponsor a bill to abolish, among other things, law SB06-90, which requires local law enforcement forces to report to federal authorities any person arrested for any infraction who is suspected of being in the country illegally.
The bill already has the support of 24 of the state’s 65 representatives and two of the 35 senators.
The current anti-immigrant laws were approved during a special session of the Colorado legislature in 2006. Similar measures had already been rejected by popular vote in the November 2005 election.
The laws put into force in 2006 prohibit restricting cooperation by local law enforcement and public employees with federal immigration authorities and require that law enforcement forces report the arrest of anyone suspected of being undocumented to those federal authorities.