An immigration bill similar to that of Arizona's and opposed by the Colorado ski and snowboard industry died in a state senate committee Feb. 16.
The bill would have permitted Colorado police to make warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants, based only on "probable cause." Supporters believed the proposal would stem the flow of undocumented foreigners into the state, while opponents called it "un-Coloradan," and arrests would likely be based upon race and language.
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), a trade association of many of the state's ski resorts, which was set to strongly opposed the bill if it had reached the state Senate floor, expressed satisfaction with the fate of the bill.
"As we expected, Senate Bills 54 and 129, died this week in committee hearings in the Colorado Senate," CSCUSA Executive dDirector Melanie Mills told OnTheSnow. "The issues will not ‘go away' in Colorado, however, and we will continue to stay closely attuned to proposed legislation that could have an adverse impact on our business."
OnTheSnow reported the ski industry organization's opposition to the bill in a Special Report posted on Feb. 3. At that time, Mills said the proposal would create an "environment of suspicion" that might turn off foreigners who come to Colorado ski and snowboard resorts. Mills also questioned how officers would determine the immigration status of a person without going through the formal warrant process.
Introduced by Colorado Springs Republican Kent Lambert, the bill resembled legislation passed in Arizona that has reportedly hurt the convention and tourism business in that state. A party-line vote killed the legislation in the state senate's State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee.