Colorado 'sanctuary state' bill ready to roll out Thursday - Colorado Politics

Colorado ‘sanctuary state’ bill ready to roll out Thursday

Author: John Tomasic - March 14, 2017 - Updated: March 15, 2017

The Ralph Carr plaque presented in 1974 by the Japanese community and the Oriental Culture Society of Colorado hangs outside the foyer outside the governor's office at the Colorado Capitol. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)
The Ralph Carr plaque presented in 1974 by the Japanese community and the Oriental Culture Society of Colorado hangs outside the foyer outside the governor’s office at the Colorado Capitol. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

Sponsors of Colorado’s “Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act” plan to roll out the bill Thursday during a press event on the west steps of the Capitol.

The hot-button bill, sponsored by Democrats Joe Salazar from Thornton and Daneya Esgar from Pueblo in the House and Lucia Guzman from Denver and Daniel Kagan from Cheery Hills Village in the Senate, is meant to guard against what the sponsors view as the threats to civil rights posed by the Trump administration. It would prohibit officials in Colorado from providing any information that could be used by the federal government to monitor or detain residents based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status or religious affiliation.

The bill feels like it has been rolled out several times already.

News that it was in the works came even before the session began in January, weeks before President Trump took office. The bill was a shadow figure throughout deliberations on an “anti-sanctuary” bill introduced by Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Dave Williams. His “Colorado Politician Accountability Act” sought to hold officials criminally liable for crimes committed by immigrants. It was killed by majority House Democrats in committee shortly after it was introduced.

The “Ralph Carr” bill is named for the Republican Colorado governor who pushed back against federal policies that led to the detention of Japanese Americans during World War II. Carr resisted round-up efforts in Colorado and welcomed Japanese-Americans from other states.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House judiciary committee after the noon press conference on Thursday. Speakers lined up for the event so far include a Japanese-American survivor of the World War II internment program, an Iranian-American human rights advocate and a director at the Anti-Defamation League.

Correction: The headline of the original version of this story listed the roll out event as scheduled for Wednesday. It is, as the story reports, scheduled for Thursday, at noon.

John Tomasic

John Tomasic

John Tomasic is a senior political reporter for The Colorado Statesman covering the Colorado Legislature.


  • Joe from Denver

    March 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    John, thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will make sure I am present Thursday and voice my opinion. I can’t believe the state of Colorado wants to hide the criminal record of people that are already in the country illegally and obstruct the federal government from doing their job. That sounds like a sanctuary state to me. This is part of the reason that our health care system is so screwed up. The state protects these people and they milk our resources dry so the rest of us law abiding citizens end up footing the bill. I think the Salazar, Esgar, Guzman & Kagan should talk to some people who have legally gotten residency in this country and see how they feel. The ones that I have spoken with feel strongly against bills like this.


    • Cat

      March 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      I will fight to the death against this kind of legislation!


  • Carole Naro

    March 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Yeah, the Japanese were brought here to Colorado, but the freedom they were suppose to get was non-existent. There were still camps here especially in the San Luis Valley and in the Blanca area. The descendants of these Japanese peoples still live here. Notice how they twist the words.


  • Tina Harrison

    May 18, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    This is unacceptable. If people who break our laws are protected then why bother having laws? Why not do away with all laws? Murder, rape, drunk driving, texting while driving, lets do away with all our laws and just do a night of cleansing. Perhaps this would be better suited for those who are working on this legislation!

    Those who break the laws and enter the country illegally are criminals, and those who wish to harbor criminals should face the same punishment as someone who is harboring a fugitive.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *