Baumgardner introduces immigration bill

Lawmaker said he tried to learn from Arizona measure



Randy Baumgardner

— Colorado Republicans have imported more of the Ari­zona immigration law into the Legi­slature, including parts that a federal judge already has struck down in Arizona.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Baum­gard­­ner, R-Hot Sul­­phur Springs, said Co­­lorado Re­­pub­­licans tried to learn from Ari­­zona’s experience to craft a bill that can pass the Legislature and stand up in court.

His House Bill 1170, introduced Friday, would direct local police to try to determine whether a person entered the country illegally, require immigrants to carry their alien-registration documents and make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or apply for a job in Colorado. Baum­­gardner represents House District 57, which includes Routt County.

The language is nearly identical to parts of the Arizona bill that U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked in July, saying they pre-empted federal law. The state has appealed Bolton’s ruling in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and several advocacy groups.

Baumgardner took a trip to Arizona in 2010 to check out the state’s law, which drew praise and condemnation

Colorado Republicans broke the Arizona law into several sections, of which Baumgardner’s bill is the largest.

Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colo­rado Springs, introduced a short Senate bill that allows police to stop people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Federal courts blocked that part of the law, as well.

Baumgardner said he took pains with his bill to respect the federal government’s jurisdiction.

“We took a 27-page bill (from Arizona). It’s down to 15,” Baum­­gardner said. “We’re not trying to tell the federal government how to do their job.”

But several parts of his bill copy sections that the Arizona judge blocked.

Its first hearing is scheduled tentatively for Feb. 14 in the House Agriculture, Livestock and Nat­­ural Resources Committee, where Baumgardner is the vice chairman. Baumgardner said he did not ask Speaker of the House Frank McNulty to send the bill to the agriculture committee.

Other parts of the Arizona law passed their first tests in court. Like Arizona’s law, Baum­­gardner’s bill would forbid cities and counties from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. It also would make it a crime to block traffic while hiring day laborers on the street. And the bill would allow police to seize the cars of people caught transporting illegal immigrants.

Baumgardner added new fines on employers that are not part of the Arizona law. Employers who make a “good faith effort” to hire only legal workers would not be subject to fines if they are caught with illegal workers. But if they violate the law, they could be fined up to $25,000 per worker.

“We’re asking all the businesses in the state of Colorado to play by the same rules when they hire,” Baumgardner said.

Democrats will work with Republicans on the bill, but they reject most of the Arizona law, said House Minority Leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo.

“We don’t need to go to Ari­zona to learn how to legislate in Colorado,” Pace said.


bill schurman 4 years ago

Let's see, apparently Randy forgot to learn while driving a CDOT truck that the law he sponser's has been declared unconstitutional. What a waste of money.


kathy foos 4 years ago

Not a waste of anything.GOOD JOB CDOT TRUCK DRIVER! A real defender doesn't just give up and say its unconstitutional.The crime is with these illegals that dont follow any country's laws.Employers that hire them are tax evaders.


Scott Wedel 4 years ago

Well, the great majority of them are careful to follow the rest of the laws so that they are not arrested for anything and can continue living here.

A great many of them have close relatives that are here legally. And they are working on a close relative's ID so the employer has no idea this person is not here legally and taxes are being paid.

A whole lot of potential for breaking up families where father and kids are legal, but wife came here before waiting for legal process to finally gave legal immigration papers.

In Colorado, there is not that much fear of consistent violent crime caused by illegals.


kyle pietras 4 years ago

There are already laws about illegally entering our country. There is a tv show about it "Border wars" We need to put our efforts in backing the laws we have not micromanaging with crappy new laws.


jerry carlton 4 years ago

Everyone has their own opinion of what is a waste of money. I think Public Defenders are a waste of money. Do not do the crime if you can not afford a lawyer.


bill schurman 4 years ago


Damn that Constitution. Let's do away with it. Yo, Jerry, some of these poor people might just be innocent. How 'bout those INNOCENT folks on Death Row that people like you would have killed were it not for Public Defenders? Then there is the HAMMER in TX and rich though he is was CONVICTED of criminal acts. Should have had a Public Defender.



Cooke 4 years ago

Way to stay on topic Carlton. Foos -- a real defender of the Constitution would understand the separation of powers as clearly laid out in the Constitution. Legislators make laws. Judicial review decides whether the law is Constitutional. That happened in AZ. Truck driver is wasting money -- way to be fiscally conservative Baumgardner. We need representatives that are more concerned with getting things done rather than pointlessly grandstanding for their constituency.


sledneck 4 years ago

What was that on all the networks last night for 2 hours if it wasn't "pointless grandstanding for their constituency".?

I'm not sure I want to talk legality or constitutionality or intent concerning Baumgardners proposal but I would like to hypothesise as to why we are seeing these kinds of proposals.

What this kind of activity tells me is that Baumgardner (and likely many of his constituants) percieve that there is a problem with people illegally crossing our borders. They further feel there has, heretofore, been no meaningful response to what they percieve as an ongoing, completely unacceptable, illegal, dangerous and even counter-security situation at our southern border.

Right or wrong we are likely to see these types of proposals until some "other" Americans put pressure on THEIR representatives to restore some sanity to the situation. In other words IF YOU GUYS DON'T LIKE THE WAY OUR SIDE IS TRYING TO PUT OUT THE DAMN FIRE COME ON DOWN HERE WITH SOME WATER OF YOUR OWN AND SHOW US HOW IT'S DONE!!!

Unless you are willing to help put out the fire Baumgardners constituancy really doesn't give a tinkers dam what the rest of you think of their methods.

THAT'S what I think this proposal says.


Cooke 3 years, 12 months ago

Thanks neck -- YOU SOUND SO MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT WHEN YOU TYPE-YELL. Of course you don't want to talk about the legality -- because it has already been found illegal – that little tidbit you choose to avoid makes your entire argument null. I hate to judge, but you sound suspiciously like the type that only likes to site our government's need to follow the Constitution when it suits your argument. Federal court ruled parts of the law unconstitutional -- that is the bottom line here.

As for the SOTU last night -- I'm curious to know if you think it was pointless grandstanding when the previous President gave eight of them?


Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 12 months ago

Saddling our already underfunded law enforcement with additional immigration-enforcement duties is going to cost more money. More spending. How is Baumgardner proposing to pay for this added expense? De-funding school lunches? Teacher layoffs? Sell some snowplows? Additional fees for snowmobiles? Mr B. perceives that there is political hay to be made by jumping on the AZ bandwagon.


sledneck 3 years, 12 months ago

Cooke, I like "type-yell"... good one. I only offered what I THINK is going on. I am not excusing it... totally.

Absolutely, it was pointless grandstanding when "W" gave his 8. After all look at the horrendous results of his administratiuon.

What makes the government any more capable of deciding right and wrong than you are? Nothing! Thats what! Only raw power. And when has that ever been a useful guide to ethics and morality?

One of the principals I wish the electorate understood more clearly is the difference between "Mala in se" VS "Mala prohibita". Mala in se means "bad in and of itself". Things like murder, rape, robbery which nearly all people, at all times in history have considered wrong. Mala prohibita means "bad because its prohibited". Smoking marijuana, not getting a building permit, filling in the ditch on your own property without permission... These are only wrong because the government says so.

So, Cooke, the "bottom line" here is that anything can be declared unconstitutional by a certain court. Anything can be "illegal". That does not mean that crossing a border, trespassing, false identification, illegal occupation and the crimes that accompany those are o.k. Far from it.

How would you treat your wife if you knew she could NEVER leave you? It is any wonder then, how we see Arizona being treated vis a vi its stand on its border? When the FEDERAL government is charged with deciding a dispute between a state government and the FEDERAL government who in their right mind expects it to decide against isself?


Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Law enforcement typically hates the immigration enforcement policy of this proposed law because then they no longer get cooperation. When a witness or a victim has to consider immigration status when reporting a crime then crime goes unreported and prosecutions fail due to lack of witnesses. When helping police find a criminal can also lead the police to good people not here legally then the police get no help finding criminals.

What is worse, it creates communities where the police are not trusted and thus a void in which ethnic gangs fill. The gang "protects" the community even as it exploits the community. Your daughter is protected from an abusive boyfriend if you are friendly to the gang. And so on.

I note how the statehouse Republicans avoided this bill and sent it to the Ag committee so that Randy's subcommittee can hold whatever meetings. In Colorado which is not as conservative as Arizona, galvanizing Hispanics against the GOP is a politically dangerous path. This was already one of the few states that elected a Democratic governor and senator so the Republicans desiring statewide success would like to ignore this bill.


Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 12 months ago

Sled: Aren't the acts of crossing an imaginary line on a piece of paper (a border) and being somewhere without the proper government papers classic examples of malum prohibitum? Or are you saying that being in another country without govt papers is evil in and of itself, like rape or murder?


sledneck 3 years, 12 months ago

It is not an "imaginary" line. It is a border; a very REAL line. Go try to cross Irans border and see just how "imaginary" it is! Nations are not nations without borders.

Is your property line "imaginary"? Is walking in your front door without permission mala in se or mala prohibita? Do you not have locks on YOUR doors?

If you want to ignore the many repercussions of a pourous border that is your prerogative. Terrorist infiltration. Criminal infiltration. Drugs. Guns (in the hands of almost exclusively bad guys) Drain on the tax base. Etc.

Baumgardners crowd disagrees with you. They think it might be "not so smart" to not know who the hell is comming in our front (or back) door.


sledneck 3 years, 12 months ago

Shawant, As a Libertarian I am for more open borders. But that means comming in the front door, ID in hand, no criminal record, no handouts expected, to be an American. Not to sneak in under the cover of darkness, sign up for all the goodies and plant your flag on our soil and demand we speak your language, observe your customs and accomodate you... Not gonna happen.


Anne Dawson 3 years, 12 months ago

Sled - I am a Permanent Resident who came in your front door. I do not wish to become an American citizen per se, but I probably will, because I chose to live here and am willing to abide by US laws. Gaining residency/citizenship is deliberately and rightly not an easy process. I do believe, however, that this country virtually encourages illegal activity and discord through its current legislation and Mr Baumgardner's proposals will not bring much benefit for anyone.
As Scott identifies, there are many technically-illegal immigrants here who are no threat to anyone and who could easily join the legal community if the due process would just give them a break. (I'm thinking of the DREAM act being a good start here).
At a very basic level, maybe if it were possible in the free market for employers to be able to afford to pay Americans a living wage to do all those jobs that illegal immigrants currently do, then there wouldn't be as much of a problem. The issue needs to be tackled at an economic level, not through law enforcement.


Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 12 months ago

So being in a foreign nation without papers is akin to murder or rape?


pitpoodle 3 years, 12 months ago

Alien, coming in the front door, paying taxes to live here, and abiding by our laws is what should be done whether you decide to become a citizen or not. I applaud that. Illegal immigrants who sneak in and take advantage of the system, asking me to pay for many of their basic needs including emergency room health care and educating their children is not OK with me or most responsible people who do pay taxes. Targeting employers who hire illegals is definitely the key but it won't happen without enforcement. Baumgardner's proposals are a good step in the right direction. I applaud that too.


sledneck 3 years, 12 months ago

No, being in a foreign nation without papers is "akin" to trespassing. And trespassing onto anothers private property is mala in se.

See the news this morning? Theyre catapulting drugs over the border fence! Would it be ok if I tossed drugs, guns, criminals over your backyard fence to your kids? Is that mala prohibita or mala in se?

Go down to Guatemala or Belize and get yourself a good tan so you look like the indigenous people. Then, try to cross Mexicos southern border. When you are caught try telling them YOU are a "migrant worker" who only wants to do the labor that fat, rich Mexicans don't want to do. See if that story works as well on Mexicos southern border as they expect it to work on their northern border.


Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 12 months ago

Sled: Quoting some latin terms doesn't mean you understand them. That you picked this thread to trot them out shows just that. Think before you spout. Just because I disagree with your interpretation of these latin terms does not mean I am for open borders. I just think you are wrong. Again, think before you spout. I am all for real, workable immigration enforcement. Baumgardner is just grandstanding...period. Read my first post if you care, but don't tell me what I am for or against.


pitpoodle 3 years, 12 months ago

It is very possible Baumgardner is not grandstanding and wants to find a solution to the high cost of supporting illegal immigrants. Go Baumgardner.


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