DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Supreme Court struck down a state law that banned immigrant smuggling, concluding that a similar federal law should take precedence.
The Denver Post reports the court's 4-3 decision on Tuesday ends the 2006 law that made it a felony to provide transportation in exchange for money for people living in the county illegally.
State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says she plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Colorado’s human smuggling law was not designed to interfere with federal immigration policy, unlike some other state laws that have been struck down by courts,” she said in a statement to Denver7. “Our laws were enacted to serve the important purpose of protecting and vindicating the innocent victims of serious crimes. I do not agree with the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, and my office plans to ask the United States Supreme Court to review this case.”
Justice Richard Gabriel says in the majority opinion that the state statute disrupts U.S. Congress's "objective of creating a uniform scheme of punishment."
Justice Allison Eid says in the dissenting opinion that the law was not to punish but to protect "the passengers of human smuggling operations regardless of their immigration status."