The Latino-Alienating, Budget-Busting Arizona Copycat Bills

As the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports, it’s as bad as you thought:

Colorado Republicans have imported more of the Arizona immigration law into the Legislature, including parts that a federal judge has already struck down in Arizona…

House Bill 1170 would direct local police to try to determine whether a person entered the country illegally, require immigrants to carry their alien-registration documents and make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or apply for a job in Colorado.

The language is nearly identical to parts of the Arizona bill that U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked last July, saying they pre-empted federal law. The state has appealed Bolton’s ruling in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and several advocacy groups…

Colorado Republicans broke the Arizona law into several sections, of which Baumgardner’s bill is the largest.

Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, introduced a short Senate bill that allows police to stop people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Federal courts blocked that part of the law as well.

Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly have now committed themselves to a package of legislation that will not only alienate, as we’ve warned countless times, the fastest-growing group of voters in the United States–no, folks. It’s even better. In addition to inviting grave political damage on themselves for years to come at the polls, and despite promises to be careful not to set the state up for a massive expense defending their proposals in court, they’ve brazenly included some of the very same language from Arizona’s embattled SB-1070 that judges in that state tossed, and the federal government insists is not constitutional.

We note that this is a House bill, separate from Sen. Kent Lambert’s bill we talked about last week. While that might appear to make the bill a greater threat, if GOP Speaker Frank McNulty has any sense of self-preservation about him he will route it to the nearest “kill committee.”

Because at the end of the day, these bills are threats only to Republicans.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    For God’s sake, Pols, would you please let the GOP go ahead and step on their own dicks without the warnings? Sometimes I wonder if you’re trying to help them!

    • Laughing Boy says:

      You’re in favor of hiring people here illegally?

      Just wanted to check, because the bill says nothing about hiring legal residents, which is what you’re implying with your straw-signВ®.

      (Yes, that’s an LB original, and I’ll be seeing you in court if you try to use it without my permission).

      • ajb says:

        If this were to somehow pass, the feds would immediately challenge it and win. The state would spend millions defending the indefensible that could be better spent feeding poor kids, or paving roads, or guarding prisoners, or whatever.  

        • Laughing Boy says:

          I’m just having MADCO and other opponents of the AZ-style-law clarify that this does not have anything to do with prohibiting anyone from hiring legal residents of the U.S.

          • Aristotle says:

            Kind of counter to the GOP’s prevailing message, isn’t it?

            This is why we tend to view these bills suspiciously.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              But I want one of you to admit that this bill has absolutely nothing to do with MADCO’s sign.  It does nothing to impede in any way people that are in this country legally, like the Irish were.

              The two situations are in fact, incomparable.

              • Ralphie says:

                But it’s not my post and it’s not my sign.

                So what did that buy you exactly?

              • Aristotle says:

                But that’s besides MADCO’s point, which is that it’s a racist bill. Not in language, but in the way it likely will be applied.

                You can argue that it’s not, and I won’t argue back that it is – I’m just interpreting MADCO for you. If I’m wrong, I’m sure he’ll correct me…

                So, can I take this as meaning that you acknowledge that this law will create bureaucracy and red tape? I’d like to see how much this is going to cost the state, coupled with something showing a) how much illegal immigration is expected to be curbed by it; and b) what effect this is supposed to have on the economy (including the cost of potential backlash – see MOTR’s comment about boycotts – as well as how much more we can expect the costs of agriculture to rise as a result).

          • MADCO says:

            I have objection to the part that says law enforcement is empowered to attempt to determine whether someone is here legally or not.  My Irish immigrant ancestors are long dead, RIP, but they were here legally and were still discriminated against.  Is it such a stretch to imagine other people, here legally, will be discriminated against?

  2. Middle of the Road says:

    even given a half a thought to what this does to the tourism industry in this state and to our job market? I can see Colorado experiencing the same boycotts and bad publicity as AZ if this passes and as a small business owner, I cannot afford to take that kind of hit.  

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    Around 1/3 of high-tech start-ups are started by immigrants. And many of them are Indian. They probably won’t be willing to move to a state that asks all dark skinned people for their papers.

    Way to discourage new high-tech start-ups and the jobs they bring to the state.

  4. parsingreality says:

    ….if they want an Arizona type law enacted.

    Tom Knight, one of the only Republicans I’ve ever voted for laid it on the line for his own party.

    Paraphrasing, “If you want an Arizona law enacted, you must be prepared to build a much larger jail. It takes X months for us to get ICE to pick up and deport the people we get a hold on now.”

    As an aside why I really like this guy, the sheriff to the south is contacting property owners with homeless camps on their lands, anywhere in the world.  He tells them if they don’t give him permission to clean the camp out, they will do so and then bill the owner.

    When told this, Knight said, “It’s a social problem, not a law problem. If an owner wants us to clean out a camp, we do it. Otherwise, let them be.”  

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