( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
I was dismayed this morning to see that the Denver Post, and for that matter all Colorado major media that I have found so far, have failed to interview any Republicans regarding the “SB-1070 copycat” bills introduced in the Colorado legislature after Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation was passed in 2010. In August of 2010, Republican legislators traveled to Arizona for meetings with the backers of SB-1070, and in both 2011 and 2012 the GOP introduced numerous pieces of legislation described as duplicates in whole and in part of SB-1070.
Now that the major pieces of SB-1070 have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Republicans who tried to bring SB-1070 to Colorado should be made to answer for their campaign to do so, even if that complicates the GOP’s push to win Hispanic voters.
As one example, Rep. Randy Baumgardner introduced a bill in 2011 that according to the Durango Herald 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.” In the same Herald story, it’s reported that Sen. Kent Lambert introduced a bill “that allows police to stop people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Federal courts blocked that part of the law as well.” These were both provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070 that were overturned by the Supreme Court yesterday.
Why the hell isn’t that a story?
The closest I’ve found to any coverage of Colorado’s connections to Arizona’s immigration bill is a CBS 4 story that briefly touches on legislation passed in 2006:
Colorado’s law mirrors the Arizona provision often referred to as “Show Me Your Papers.” It requires police during stops or arrests to check a person’s immigration status if they suspect the person is in the country illegally. With Tuesday’s ruling it is a law other states will likely adopt.
It was the most controversial provision in Arizona’s law. The provision triggered protests across the country and calls to boycott the state. It’s a provision Colorado has had in place for six years.
This is Senate Bill 06-090. This bill did pass and was signed into law in 2006 by GOP Gov. Bill Owens. It had both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. But the similarity with Arizona’s law ends there. Colorado’s law only requires arrestees to be reported to federal immigration authorities if they are arrested for a separate criminal offense. Immigration status is not in itself an arrestable offense in Colorado. SB 06-090 appears to conform to the Supreme Court’s guidance on this issue, which substantially restricts Arizona’s law.
Look, I’m not happy with the way Democrats handled anti-immigrant hysteria from the Tom Tancredo crowd in 2006. I thought this bill, and others from the 2006 regular and special sessions were stupid election year mistakes. If you must know, I blame Andrew Romanoff. But for this to be the only historical news coverage of immigration policy in Colorado after the SB-1070 ruling is extremely misleading. This is such an important issue in this election that for the press to ignore it, or try to go back to 2006 while ignoring 2011, reeks of partisan considerations.
Every Hispanic voter needs to know that after SB-1070 was passed in Arizona, Colorado Republicans tried to bring everything the Supreme Court threw out yesterday to our state. Period.
If the Colorado press doesn’t tell this story, they’re not doing their jobs.