Has Colorado’s Governor Forgotten The Anti-Sanctuary Promise He Made To Voters?

While campaigning for governor last year, then-Congressman Jared Polis (D) promised not to support legislation to make Colorado a sanctuary state. He subsequently reinforced this pledge during a televised debate after being asked point-blank about whether he supports sanctuary cities. He responded with a single-word answer: “no.”

Now that he’s governor, Polis has an opportunity to back up that promise with a firm veto threat against some very real and dangerous sanctuary legislation currently under consideration in the Colorado General Assembly.

House Bill (HB) 1124 is a disastrous proposal that would inflict even more damage than the open-borders lobby has with California’s sanctuary laws. Among other provisions, the bill seeks to  deny Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to local jails and state prisons, prohibits law enforcement from cooperating with ICE, ignores immigration detainers, and releases criminal aliens back into the community, just for starters.

The results of California’s sanctuary provisions have been predictably catastrophic. Today, illegal aliens are 231 percent more likely to be incarcerated for a crime in California than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants combined, according to FAIR’s recent crime study..

Colorado’s bill would go further still, including none of the exceptions even in California’s sanctuary law, SB 54. At least California gives law enforcement the option to cooperate with immigration authorities if an illegal alien has been convicted of any one of 31 serious crimes.

So, will Gov. Polis rise to the occasion to keep his campaign promise and deny illegal aliens yet another sanctuary haven?  There’s good reason to be skeptical.  Despite his pledge, the governor actually has a shoddy record when it comes to immigration.

While serving in Congress, Polis voted in 2015, 2016, and 2017 against legislation which would’ve outlawed sanctuary cities nationwide and denied federal funding to local governments. He even voted against a bill to re-authorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

Moreover, his campaign promise can’t be taken at face value since he has made wildly inconsistent statements on the issue.  During a press interview, Polis said that he “will prevent President Trump, or any president, from commandeering local law enforcement to enforce their Washington, D.C. priorities.”

Yet in the very same interview, he said, “if somebody is arrested for a crime and they’re not here legally, they should be deported.” So maybe what the governor is really saying here is that he’s in favor of arresting and deporting illegal aliens only if the federal government does it alone. But, Polis knows that it is extremely difficult for immigration authorities to accomplish this without the cooperation of law enforcement. Perhaps it’s easier (or more convenient) for him to give contradictory statements than it is to have a firm stance on the issue.

But now it’s time for bold positions: time to take a stand rather than keep waffling. Gov. Polis should make it absolutely clear to the legislature that he will veto any sanctuary bill they decide to send him. It’s not too late for the governor to show leadership on this issue, and back up his words with deeds.

About Author


Colton joined FAIR in 2018 as a legislative advisor for state and local policy. Prior to FAIR, Colton responded to constituent needs and legislative issues in the offices of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and U.S. Representatives Virginia Foxx, Mark Meadows, and Richard Hudson. His congressional service covered a wide range of policy issues including agriculture, immigration, health care, welfare, and economic development. Before this, he was responsible for direct lobbying, grassroots mobilization, and strategic initiatives for several advocacy groups, including the North Carolina Association of Realtors, the Susan B. Anthony List, and Concerned Veterans for America. Colton holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Sociology from Western Carolina University.


  1. avatar

    The Southern Border States are being overrun and there are millions more to continue the rape of our soil…The Northern sector is ignored: yet examples of Communist Chinese takeovers in Washington State up into BC. Then we have towns and cities over 70% …Muslim… 2020…VOTER FRAUD…is multiplying daily…along with the NUMBERS USA PLAGUE of the CENTURY DESTRUCTIONIST USA!

  2. avatar

    When I stopped Drinking and Driving? I stopped getting DUI”s! … When I stopped Speeding? I stopped getting Speeding Ticket’s! And when I stopped VOTING for Democrats? I started Saving my beloved Country! WE GOT A CHANCE GUYS and GALS! “UNITED WE STAND” (Divided we shall surely fall) … Let’s just clean HOUSE, CLEAN THE SENATE! AND RE-ELECT THAT BUSINESSMAN PRESIDENT! (2020 It’s your call BY A LANDSLIDE!

  3. avatar

    Polis is exactly why people don’t trust politicians. The sainted McCain was forever getting tough on illegal entry when he had a primary opponent and then once back in office he was all in for mass amnesties with Democrats. Same with Rubio who campaigned on no amnesty in 2010 and then joined McCain on the “reform” bill of 2013 which was the usual mass amnesty up front with actual border security nothing more than a promise somewhere in the future. Now Rubio wants Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans, meaning millions of people who would never leave.

    Britain is going through the same thing and it’s self-inflicted. Almost 3 years ago they voted to break with the European Union but still supported prime minister Teresa May who wanted to remain with the EU but said she would “respect the will of the voters”. The “deadline” to leave is March 29, and she promised it would happen “deal or no deal” with the EU. Now she wants to extend that deadline by at least 2 months and possibly 2 years to pursue a deal that the EU will never give them willingly.

    Another lying snake. Brexit was opposed by all the elite in that country, and both Obama and Hillary made comments against it. As usual, it was the same condescending bs about how the people didn’t understand what they were voting for and they were a bunch of provincial bigots for wanting to control immigration from the rest of the EU.

    Fox hiring Donna Brazile, who CNN fired after she slipped debate questions to Hillary, as a “contributor” and she says Fox watchers “don’t get the Democratic viewpoint”. What a joke. Watch Shepard Smith and Arthel Neville, both who hate Trump. Fox shows are far more likely to have liberal guests on than the other way around. And as if the 95% of rest of the media isn’t solidly liberal and filled with ex-Clinton and DNC flacks like Brazile.

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  4. avatar

    You are expecting too much from a Gov who signs the NPV and plans on signing the oil and gas bill even though CO voters just a few months ago clearly said no on this one. This new bill goes even further.

    If he keeps this promise it will be a miracle. If not; one more reason to help recall him and he is ours so recall him we will try

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      Colorado due to the former illustrious now 2020 gunner for Prez..donated the pristine hills and valleys, rivers and surrounding green to the developers… decades ago when he made illegals his priority over US Citizens…and the once great State when individuals sought a healthy environment.