DENVER — Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill called Virginia's Law last year, and while it never made it to a vote, their supporters rallied at the capitol on Tuesday in hopes of reintroducing it this legislative session knowing democrats outnumber the republicans in both the house and senate this year.
The bill is named after a woman who was detained when she called police to report a domestic violence incident. The law would limit cooperation between federal immigration enforcement officials and local authorities.
"We know that this bill will help us," said Sandra Lopez, a 42-year-old who came to the United State from Mexico illegally. "We want to be able to call police in our time of need. We want to be able to go to school, PTA meetings, go to hospitals and not live in fear that we're going to get in trouble just for reaching out for help."
Lopez, who lives in Carbondale, says this law would have impacted her.
She says her son called 911 when he heard his parents arguing, and hung up. When police asked for her Colorado ID, and she couldn't provide it because she didn't have one, Lopez says police called federal immigration officials.
She's been fighting deportation charges for the last nine years.
"I am scared of calling the police," she said through a translator. "I am petrified of calling them. They completely broke the trust that I have toward police."
If the bill is reintroduced this session, it will have opposition from senate republicans, according to their spokesperson Sage Naumann.
"The fact remains that legislation that restricts our local law enforcement agencies from coordinating with federal agencies can lead to dangerous results for our communities, and our senators will stand firmly against such legislation," said Naumann.
Virginia's Law would be similar to the immigration policy Denver passed last August.
There is still no timeline for when this bill could be introduced this session, but democrats from both the house and senate are discussing it.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Investigations from 9Wants to Know