Last week two bills, each with the goal of protecting immigrant rights, passed through their respective chambers in the Colorado legislature. This is the second of two brief summaries of what each piece of legislation hopes to accomplish. The first can be found here.
SB-131– Protect Personal Identifying Information Kept by State
Last May Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) issued a directive barring state agencies from sharing data with federal immigration agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This year, the proposed law, sponsored by state Sen. Julie Gonzales and Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, would officially limit information sharing between state and federal agencies and require ICE to obtain a subpoena or warrant in order to request personal identifying information.
Polis was urged by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) and other advocacy groups to take action, as their hopes for the passage of an identical measure during the 2020 legislative session were dashed with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This bill would officially limit information sharing between state and federal agencies and require ICE to obtain a subpoena or warrant in order to request personal identifying information.
In a CIRC statement, Gonzales said the collaboration between ICE and state agencies, such as the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Motor Vehicles, have made the immigrant community fearful of accessing state resources available to them.
“It is our responsibility in the state to ensure that all Coloradans have trust in our state agencies,” Gonzales said. “That trust has been broken, and it’s on us to make it right.”
SB-131 passed through the Colorado Senate with bipartisan support, with every Democrat and five Republican senators voting to pass it.
The five Republican senators who voted yes were Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose), Sen. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Aurora), Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale), and Sen. Cleave Simpson (R-Alamosa).
The bill must now pass through the Colorado House.