Senate Bill 1-102: Ban Private Companies and Non-Governmental Organizations from Participating in Immigration Detention

By: Yessica Ramos

Senate Bill 1-102 is an act to ban private companies and non governmental organizations from participating in immigration detention in the state of Colorado. According to the bill and Definition of NGO, a Non-Governmental Organization, is a nonprofit organization regulated by volunteers at the local, national, and or international level. The purpose of this bill was “preventing companies and NGOs to be involved in detention and immigration purposes. Federal corporations should not be expanding the amount of immigrants they detain through private companies and NGOs, they should be able to use the resources and budget allocated for them.” When this bill was called to the house there was an intensified discussion on whether the bill should be passed or failed, this discussion went on for almost a whole hour.


Photo By: Yessica Ramos

Author Estrella Soto spoke on the behalf of Senate Bill 1-102 which, as she stated pertained “to ban private companies and non governmental organizations in subcontracting with Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE in the state of Colorado.” Representative Soto covered how these organizations are known to subcontract with certain companies like GEO using their private facilities and money to detain immigrants that ICE takes in, in which the people are often treated horrendously. Soto stated, “with the president’s Zero Tolerance Policy, there has been up to 650 children who have been separated from their families in a period of two weeks including myself.” Not only was that a point stated but in the end she concluded with saying, “I believe that if ICE wants to detain immigrants, they should do it with their own resources and their own money.”  It is visible through the debate and questions asked during the conference that this topic should be addressed. The bill was given an amendment but when it came to the voting, there was a 9-15 outcome.This bill failed, but the question is, why did this happen? There was another bill relative to this one, making Colorado a Sanctuary State which passed where as Estrella’s bill failed.  Was it how she worded her bill? Or was it because of how bill 1-103 was more straightforward compared to hers?

During the discussion an opponent speech was given regarding a flaw in the bills appropriation clause. There was a disagreement with the funding being taken from the Colorado state patrol and an idea that was presented initiating that the funding should come from a federal level.   If another proponent speech was given, it would concur with this bill because by passing it, it would allow an end to private companies and begin the freedom of its own budgets allowing this money to go to other things, such as schools etc.


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