top of page
  • Writer's pictureVoces Unidas Action Fund

Voces Unidas opposes controversial ID bill

President and CEO Alex Sánchez testified against SB24-090 (Possess Identification While Driving) during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.


Voces Unidas actively lobbies for justice-centered public policies at the local, state and federal levels. Follow our 2024 Bill Tracker for up-to-date information on our legislative priorities.


Below is our testimony, as prepared.


------------------------------


Madam Chair and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

 

My name is Alex Sánchez. I am the CEO of Voces Unidas de las Montañas and Voces Unidas Action Fund, two Latino advocacy organizations working in Lake, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin, and Garfield counties. 


I am here today to urge you to oppose SB24-90.


This bill, which would change what is now a basic traffic violation into a jailable offense, is unnecessary and unjust because it will unfairly target immigrants in Colorado. SB-90, if allowed to become law, would take Colorado back to a dark time when families were torn apart as parents faced deportation for a simple traffic infraction.


As the son of immigrants, I cannot emphasize to you enough how life-altering it is for a child to have a parent deported. My own mother was deported.


Immigrants residing in Colorado want to be licensed and insured and to drive on our roads safely. Unfortunately, current law requires that they wait more than a year and perhaps as long as 30 months after becoming state residents just to apply for a driver’s license or state ID. Meanwhile, this bill unfairly criminalizes immigrants without a driver’s license, targeting them for arrest, jail and potential interactions with ICE that can have disastrous impacts for Colorado’s immigrant families for years to come.


With the repeal of SB06-90 and the passage of SB13-251 Colorado Road and Community Safety Act, Colorado recognized the positive impact of immigrants and undocumented residents in our state. We passed bi-partisan legislation that prioritizes keeping Colorado families together, recognizing the disruptive impact deportations have on Colorado children, families, communities and our economy.


But SB24-90 completely undermines that effort and is certain to erode trust in law enforcement among immigrant communities.


Immigrant communities want and need to work. And in rural Colorado that often means they have to drive because the public transportation infrastructure they would otherwise rely upon to get them to their jobs does not exist.


That need certainly doesn’t merit the threat of 10 to 90 days of jail time, not to mention the financial penalties, loss of income, family separation, and unnecessary creation of a criminal record. There are many ways officers can ensure accountability when someone does not have an ID. Arrest should be reserved for offenses that pose a legitimate public safety risk.


Unfortunately, rather than addressing the issue Colorado State Patrol seeks to solve, this bill creates an entirely new set of issues that would disproportionately and unfairly punish Colorado immigrants and their families. 


We all want to move forward towards safer roads and communities, however passing this bill – with the associated hardships, trauma, and distrust – would have the opposite effect.


I urge you to avoid that outcome by not turning the calendar back on Colorado’s immigrant communities. Please vote NO on SB24-90.


Alex Sánchez, Thank you.


Comments


bottom of page