Colorado lawmaker targeting sanctuary city mayors in proposed bill

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DENVER — For the past several weeks, the White House has been targeting sanctuary cities. Now Colorado Republicans are getting in on the controversy.

State Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, has proposed a bill allowing victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to sue elected officials of Colorado sanctuary cities.

“If they create the environment, they need to have skin in the game,” Williams said.

Williams said he is inspired by stories in other states such as Kate Steinle of California, who was killed by an undocumented immigrant.

“Should that happen in Colorado, I want to make sure victims can seek justice or recourse,” Williams said.

Williams’ bill is inspiring Republicans in other states. Republicans in Maine, Ohio and Alaska have introduced similar versions.

“If we can’t get it done here, we are going to get it done in other states,” Williams said.

Democrats in the House are critical of the measure and have indicated they are poised to defeat it when the issue comes up in committee later this month.

“This is a nation full of immigrants,” State Rep. Jevon Melton, a Democrat, said. “It’s requiring that law enforcement enforce federal law and that’s not their job.”

Victims of crimes could sue for close to $2 million under the proposed language in the bill.

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