Bill to Require Citizenship for Law Enforcement Employment Passes Committee

Denver—Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senator Bob Gardner's (R-El Paso County) bill to require Colorado peace officers to provide proof of U.S citizenship. 

Under current law, any work-authorized applicant is eligible to secure employment as a peace officer in Colorado. Senate Bill 17-120 allows Colorado law enforcement to list U.S citizenship as a requirement for applicants.

In 2016, the Denver Sheriff's Department incurred a $10,000 penalty from the U.S Department of Justice for violation of a new mandate requiring consideration of any work-authorized immigrant, not just U.S citizens.

"While Colorado's immigrant community is a point of pride in our state, we want our law enforcement officials and peace officers to be the most highly-trained, qualified individuals possible in order to keep our families safe," said Gardner.

"It is important that our law enforcement officials--who have power to arrest and authority to use force--possess a deep understanding and commitment to our system of laws, civil rights, and unique values. Our peace officers take an oath to defend our constitutions, and requiring that their first loyalty be to the United States is a commonsense step to ensure we hold our them to the highest standard." 

Senate Bill 120 now moves to a vote of the Committee of the Whole. 

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