Immigrant reporting repeal bill clears Senate, heads to Hickenlooper

immigration

DENVER — State lawmakers have cast their final votes in favor of repealing a requirement that local law enforcement report people suspected of violating immigration law to federal authorities.

House Bill 1258, which repeals the 2006 immigration law, Senate Bill 90, is on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for a signature after clearing the state senate Monday on a final 21-13 vote.

Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, a former police officer, was the only Republican senator to vote yes.

Only one Republican in the House voted for the bill when it passed out of that chamber last month.

For the most part, Republicans in both the House and Senate made a calculated decision not to spend much time arguing against the repeal, not wanting to do more damage to the GOP’s standing with Hispanic voters.

But few of them voted for the bill itself.

Testimony from a number of Colorado sheriffs propelled the legislation’s smooth journey through a sequence of hearings and votes. Law enforcement agents argued that the old reporting law isn’t needed anymore because Secure Communities, a federal immigration review process, has been implemented.

The immigration reporting requirement has been spottily enforced.

Back in 2006, about half the House Democratic caucus voted for the GOP-sponsored repeal requirement, including then-Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who is now running for Congress against Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora.

When House Bill 1258 was first introduced, Romanoff told FOX31 Denver that he supported the current effort to repeal the 2006 law.