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Salazar Takes Swipe at Tancredo

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Colorado Senator Ken Salazar seemingly took a swipe at Rep. Tom Tancredo over the latter’s immigration policy yesterday.

On Wednesday, Salazar touched off the spat when he said he hoped “House crazies ” who oppose proposed guest worker programs for foreigners wouldn’t derail efforts to change the policy. The Democrat said he thinks an immigration bill could pass Congress if cooler heads prevail.

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Salazar wouldn’t identify who he meant by the term, but it was used in the Colorado Legislature in the 1970s and early 1980s to refer to a group of conservative lawmakers, including Tancredo.

Immigration mania is also rampant in the Colorado legislature these days.

A bill designed to increase local enforcement of illegal immigration moved out of the state Senate Judiciary committee Wednesday, but local law enforcement heads appear opposed to its actual passage.

Senate Bill (SB) 90, sponsored by Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Douglas County, would in part prohibit local governments from passing “sanctuary policies,” which would prevent local enforcement officials from “communicating or cooperating” with federal immigration authorities regarding immigration status.

The worst part of the bill is this provision:

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A second major provision of SB 90 said local officers who have probable cause to believe a person is “not legally present” in the United States “shall report” the person to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.

That’s not their job. It’s also a bad idea. For one thing, it will step up racial profiling. Driving While Latino. For another, many immigration violations are civil, not criminal violations. There’s also a third reason — it will be a danger to immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence.

In 2003, Tancredo viewed local law enforcement of immigration laws as a money-maker:

Tancredo said sheriffs in his home state of Colorado have started to realize that detaining illegal immigrants can be a profit-making venture. The sheriffs are detaining illegal immigrants who have been arrested and charged with committing a local crime and billing the federal government for the immigrants’ detention, he said.

That’s all the more reason S.B. 90 is a bad idea.

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