Bill would protect Colorado residents and immigrants, not provide “sanctuary”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Joe Salazar.

A Channel 7 story Monday alleged that a bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Salazar (D-Thornton) would “make Colorado a sanctuary state.”

In its piece, titled “Proposed bill aims to make Colorado a sanctuary state,” Channel 7 reported:

If state Rep. Joseph Salazar, D-Adams Co., gets his way, Colorado could be the nation’s first sanctuary state…

Salazar says the passage of this is bill would be timely due to the president’s elect rhetoric on immigration.

“I’m going to take him for his words and actions in terms of his cabinet appointments, and we are going to prepare state of Colorado to defend ourselves against it,” said Joseph Salazar.

Salazar’s bill (here) never uses the word “sanctuary,” for good reason.

No local jurisdiction can provide “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants.  No state or city can prevent the federal government from arresting undocumented immigrants–or enforcing federal immigration law.

But states don’t have to help Trump arrest undocumented immigrants. They don’t have to assist the feds in racial or religious profiling. States don’t have to help Trump develop a registry of immigrants or residents based on race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, or religious affiliation.

And that’s what Salazar’s bill would do, basically.

So it’s a mistake for journalists, who pride themselves on precise language, to refer to Salazar’s bill as making Colorado a “sanctuary state.”

It won’t. And, if you’ve watched conservatives and bigots, like Trump, use the term “sanctuary city,” you know that it inflames people. Which would be okay if it accurately described what cities are doing when they pass laws protecting citizens and undocumented immigrants from over-reach by the federal government.

That’s what Salazar’s bill would do–and that’s how journalists should describe it.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Roger Edwards, Candidate CO 6th DistrictPowerful Pear says:

    Help the Feds get access to the money.

    Don't help don't get the money.

    Free association.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:


    Let me help you.  If Colorado picks up an illegal alien for committing a crime and does not tell the feds about it, their not helping the feds provides "sanctuary" to the illegal alien.  Does it prevent all bad things ever happening to the illegal alien? No. But it would effectively provide the illegal alien sanctuary from one bad thing, their deportation pursuant to the law.

    • unnamed says:

      I know.  Because only illegal aliens commit crimes.  My only sources of real journalism: Breitbart & Fox News said so.

    • spaceman65 says:

      Since when does state law enforcement have an obligation to assist the federal government in enforcement of federal law?  That's not sanctuary, that's letting the feds enforce federal law as the feds see fit.  Or perhaps you're a big fan of the Arpaio approach.


    • Jason Salzman says:

      states have the right not to spend their resources on the agenda/responsibilities of the feds–unless they are forced to by law. that's a conservative principle. if local jurisdictions broke laws to help immigrants, that's more along the lines of sanctuary.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Right now, public schools don't ask students about their immigration status. We do not collect citizenship documents, although we do collect vaccination records, and academic records from previous schools.

    My reading of Salazar's bill is that if passed, it would extend this firewall, allowing schools to refuse to, say, report immigration status to receive Federal matching grants. So right now, undocumented kids can eat free lunch at school, if their family income qualifies them to receive it.  Anyone mean-spirited enough to deny food to hungry children because they might not be citizens is not looking at the long term gain for the country in terms of educating people who will eventually contribute money, skills, and work.

    This has nothing to do with any "sanctuary". Trump's Homeland Security pick General Kelly is surprisingly reasonable for a Trump nominee, and would likely be keeping the status quo for schools as state entities to not be reporting immigration status.

    Additionally, it is a myth that criminals get "sanctuary". People with criminal records, particularly violent records, get deported or detained when this record is discovered. If a person's only crime is illegal entry to the US, then cities and states have the option to detain and  deport, but prioritize those consequences for violent criminals.

    As Pols says,  states don't have to be pro-active and try to profile or round people up.

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