A Channel 7 story Monday alleged that a bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Salazar (D-Thornton) would “make Colorado a sanctuary state.”
In its piece, titled “Proposed bill aims to make Colorado a sanctuary state,” Channel 7 reported:
If state Rep. Joseph Salazar, D-Adams Co., gets his way, Colorado could be the nation’s first sanctuary state…
Salazar says the passage of this is bill would be timely due to the president’s elect rhetoric on immigration.
“I’m going to take him for his words and actions in terms of his cabinet appointments, and we are going to prepare state of Colorado to defend ourselves against it,” said Joseph Salazar.
Salazar’s bill (here) never uses the word “sanctuary,” for good reason.
No local jurisdiction can provide “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants. No state or city can prevent the federal government from arresting undocumented immigrants–or enforcing federal immigration law.
But states don’t have to help Trump arrest undocumented immigrants. They don’t have to assist the feds in racial or religious profiling. States don’t have to help Trump develop a registry of immigrants or residents based on race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, or religious affiliation.
And that’s what Salazar’s bill would do, basically.
So it’s a mistake for journalists, who pride themselves on precise language, to refer to Salazar’s bill as making Colorado a “sanctuary state.”
It won’t. And, if you’ve watched conservatives and bigots, like Trump, use the term “sanctuary city,” you know that it inflames people. Which would be okay if it accurately described what cities are doing when they pass laws protecting citizens and undocumented immigrants from over-reach by the federal government.
That’s what Salazar’s bill would do–and that’s how journalists should describe it.