WASHINGTON - The sponsor of Colorado’s version of a controversial Arizona anti-immigration bill wants lawmakers to kill his bill before it even gets a hearing. The bill’s defeat comes as several states are introducing bills similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which gives local police the authority to investigate anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally.
Colorado Republican Rep. Randy Baumgardner told reporters this week that he was backing away from his bill, H.B. 1107, because parts of it could be considered unconstitutional, inviting costly litigation that the state can’t afford. "So we felt like at this time it would be a prudent thing for the taxpayers of the state Colorado for this bill to just kind of go away," he said.
Arizona is continuing to fight an expensive legal battle over S.B. 1070, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law on April 23, 2010. The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that struck down portions of the law before it could take effect. The state also is defending itself against lawsuits brought by several advocacy groups.
Like other S.B. 1070 copycats, Colorado House Bill 1107 would have allowed police to investigate anyone they suspected of being undocumented and required immigrants to carry their documentation at all times. S.B. 1070 has been widely denounced as extreme, unconstitutional, discriminatory, and fundamentally unfair.