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March 06, 2017 06:41 PM UTC

"Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act" Answers New Trump EO

  • 5 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Gov. Ralph Carr (R).

A press release from the Colorado House Democratic majority late today, but still in time for the same news cycle as President Donald Trump’s revised executive order barring travel to the United States by persons from several Muslim majority nations–announcing the introduction of House Bill 17-1230, Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act:

Reps. Joe Salazar and Daneya Esgar introduced a bill this afternoon that protects Coloradans against federal overreach targeting various Colorado communities and ensuring the state never has a repeat of its tragic history regarding Japanese internment during World War II.

“The Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act protects Colorado’s state rights by ensuring Colorado does not aid or assist any federal overreach that would set up a registry for Muslims or other religious groups, create internment camps, or attempt to identify individuals by their race, religion, nationality, or immigration status and ethnicity—all of which go against our American and Colorado values and our U.S. and state Constitutions,” said Rep. Salazar, D-Thornton. “We’re not going to allow Colorado communities to be terrorized by federal overreach.” [Pols emphasis]

HB17-1230 is named after Republican Colorado Governor Ralph Carr, who in response to the 1942 Executive Order signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt vigorously opposed the creation of the Japanese internment camps in Colorado. He is remembered for courageously stating: “An American citizen of Japanese descent has the same rights as any other citizen…. If you harm them, you must first harm me.”

“The Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act builds upon Carr’s legacy of using states’ rights to protect citizens from federal overreach,” said Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo. “It was not that long ago that 7,318 Coloradans—mostly American citizens of Japanese descent—were forcibly imprisoned right here in our state. We cannot repeat that shameful period and we must reject any attempt to create a religious registry, create internment camps, or attempt to identify individuals by their race or ethnicity.”

In addition to the obvious message, what this legislation appears to be about is giving Colorado state and local governments a defense to avoid complicity in the commission of illegal acts–to include acts with the force of law that are not constitutional. President Trump’s new executive order, which may or may not have been sufficiently tailored to be “court proof,” makes this bill most timely–but it’s certainly not the only context in which it might apply. Depending on where you get your analysis, some of the possibilities are rather unpleasant to say the least.

With that said, the bill is certain to provoke lively debate on the way to passage in the Colorado House. In the GOP-controlled Senate its prospects are less certain, of course, but given the number if civil libertarian-minded Republicans out there who are increasingly reluctant to go along with the new party line, anything could hypothetically happen.

For today, it’s enough to observe that Gov. Ralph Carr (R) would be proud to see this bill.

Comments

5 thoughts on ““Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act” Answers New Trump EO

  1. Representative Daneya Esgar continues to do Pueblo proud. You will see more from this young leader.

    To David T8's point, of course there are databases which track immigrants by type of status. It's what bureaucracies do. Nobody's proposing to stop that kind of tracking. Employers do need to know who can work legally in the US.

    But there's a huge difference between simple tracking – and requiring individuals to register their movements, employment, relationships, social media contacts, and any of the other myriad intrusions ("extreme vetting") proposed by TwitterDumb the 45th. For example Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke so movingly at the DNC, was just told that his "travel privileges are being reviewed", and hence he had to cancel a planned speaking engagement in Canada.

  2. While I'm thrilled about this bill, and I'm sure Gov. Carr would approve, let's not forget how Camp Amache came to be. Gov. Carr was fiercely against the imprisonment of legal U.S. citizens, but he decided that if they must happen, he wanted a facility here so that he could personally see to it that the internees were treated humanely. The white citizens of Colorado (the only ones with a voice at the time) were livid. They did not want those people hereHis stand for the civil rights of the internees cost him reelection. I wonder if our current governor or legislature would be so courageous?

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