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On Immigration, Colorado Could Follow Arizona’s Playbook

When the Department of Justice won its suit against Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, it seemed like the decision would act as a deterrent for other states thinking of drafting similar legislation. Colorado lawmakers see it as a challenge. They vowed to pass a tough immigration law after they wrapped up their meetings Wednesday with the Arizona politicians who passed the state’s SB 1070 immigration law.

Numerous states have considered copy-cat legislation, despite a federal lawsuit and a judge’s decision to block key provisions of the Arizona law. Arizona has already paid a high cost for passing its immigration law, from lawyers’ fees to boycotts. Some argue the law hurt industries and Arizona’s reputation.

But Colorado lawmakers, at least, did not visit Arizona to figure out how to pass immigration laws without provoking a federal lawsuit, the Associated Press reported:

Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the measure known as SB 1070, told his counterparts from Colorado that there’s not much lawmakers can do to avoid lawsuits when taking aggressive action against illegal immigrants.

“It was never the intent to avoid the lawsuit,” Pearce said. “They’ll sue you no matter what you do. We intend to win.”

This begs the question of why lawmakers are pushing such measures after they saw the results for Arizona. Colorado Republican Sen. Dave Schultheis told the AP the tide was turning in favor of immigration legislation.

But a Democratic candidate for Senate from Colorado argued the lawmakers simply are trying to win voters. “This is about politics. They don’t care about securing the border,” Randy Parraz said. “This is about creating a wedge in our politics and about dividing people up.”

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