A bill seeking a fix for Colorado’s program that provides driver’s licenses to people living in the country illegally narrowly passed the House of Representatives. House Bill 1274 would expand the existing immigrant licensing program from three offices to nine and hire 20 more employees to help resolve the backlog of applicants. It would also allow immigrants who have good social security numbers, instead of ITIN’s, to get driver’s licenses. The bill was approved 34-31 with Republicans voting against the bill. People who watch the legislature closely say the bill faces almost certain doom in the Republican-controlled Senate. Republicans, including local state representative Bob Rankin, have strongly pushed back against efforts to expand and improve upon the program. This would be a great year to kick anti-immigrant Republicans out of office.
There is another bill that did pass both the state house and Senate and which will probably be signed by the Governor. This bill cracks down on notarios practicing immigration law. This bill prohibits anyone other than attorneys from helping an immigrant select an immigration program; or assist, advise, or select the answers on an immigration form; or prepare documents in an immigration matter; or explaining a question on a form; or taking money to prepare an immigration document in the future. For example, it is illegal to take money in anticipation that DAPA will happen. Notarios may not state orally or in writing or on a website or a business card that he or she is a NOTARIO PUBLICO, NOTARIO, IMMIGRATION ASSISTANT, IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, IMMIGRATION SPECIALIST, or anything similar. Finally, notarios who advertise in Spanish or another foreign language must include the following language in their ad:I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF COLORADO AND I MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, NOR AM I AN EXPERT ON IMMIGRATION MATTERS.