Sanctuary cities and states offering assistance and protection to illegal aliens and "undocumented workers".Sitemap

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  • Aurora, Colorado

  • Commerce City, Colorado

  • Denver, Colorado

  • Durango, Colorado (2003) (Sanctuary status disputed by City Manager, see below)

  • Federal Heights, Colorado

  • Fort Collins, Colorado

  • Lafayette, Colorado

  • Thornton, Colorado

  • Westminster, Colorado

  • Please remove Durango from your website. We are not now nor have ever been a Sanctuary City. Ron LeBlanc City Manager 949 E. 2nd Ave. Durango CO 81301 970-375-5005

    See Blog Response HERE
    Hickenlooper signs bill allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants
    Written by Ivan Moreno Associated Press 6/5/13

    DENVER — Immigrants living illegally in Colorado will be able to get driver’s licenses under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper, adding the state to a handful of others that provide a legal way for immigrants to use the roads.

    The issue has picked up momentum this year, with Oregon and Nevada passing laws in recent weeks, and Connecticut’s governor expected to pass a measure that lawmakers approved last week.

    Hickenlooper said he saw the proposal as a step toward changing the nation’s immigration laws.

    “I’m not trying to tell Congress what form that takes, any of the details, but we are moving in that direction, and this is something that’s a first step,” the Democratic governor said.

    Supporters of the bill argued that everyone on the roads should know the rules and be insured, regardless of their immigration status.

    The licenses would be labeled to say they are not valid for federal identification and can’t be used to vote, obtain public benefits or board a plane. Hickenlooper said immigrants should have licenses that allow them to drive to work, get insurance, and be identified in car accidents, while at the same time making clear they are not U.S. citizens.

    New Mexico, Illinois and Washington state already grant driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally. Utah grants immigrants a driving permit that can’t be used for identification. Nevada’s bill, signed into law last week, requires immigrants to prove their identity with a passport or birth certificate, and the “driving privilege cards” must be renewed annually.

    In Colorado, immigrants pass a driver’s license test and prove they’re paying state and federal taxes. They also must show an identification card from their country of origin. The licenses would be renewed every three years.

    But opponents argued there’s no way to verify the identities of immigrants with certainty, and they worried the licenses wouldn’t necessarily lead to more people having insurance. Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg said he worried the proposal would encourage more people to come to Colorado illegally.

    Colorado’s bill takes effect Aug. 1, 2014. Legislative analysts who worked on the bill estimate that more than 45,000 immigrants will apply for licenses the first year.
    18 Colorado governor signs bill for illegal immigrants' in-state tuition
    By Anthony Cotton for The Denver Post 4/29/13

    Marking the end of a decade-long effort to provide in-state tuition rates to Colorado college students in the U.S. illegally, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 33, also known as the ASSET bill, into law on Monday.

    "Now you have to do the work," Hickenlooper told the many students among the hundreds of people attending the event at Metropolitan State University of Denver's Student Success Center.
    18 Arrested in Loveland Immigration Raid
    AP, July 16, 2008

    LOVELAND -- Immigration officials arrested 18 people Wednesday in a raid at a concrete plant in Loveland Wednesday.

    An advocacy group criticized the raid, saying immigration reform rather than raids that separate families are needed.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the 18 workers arrested were in the country illegally. One was from El Salvador and the rest were from Mexico.
    Packed jail tied to illegal immigration
    Steve Lynn for the Vail Daily, June 8, 2008

    EAGLE — Jesus Adrian Romero talks excitedly in the Eagle County jail with a handful of other inmates, many of .whom entered the United States illegally.

    Romero and the other men in their 20s chatter in Spanish about what life is like in jail as Jairo Esparza, a fellow inmate, quickly translates.

    One has been accused of firing a shotgun at and wounding a man at the Dotsero volcano. Another man has been accused of biting off a man’s ear.
    8 arrested in Aspen suspected of immigration violations
    AP, May 3, 2008

    ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Federal authorities say they arrested eight people after an early-morning immigration raid an at Aspen home.

    Federal officials would not provide details of the investigation that led to the arrests Thursday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok says releasing information would compromise the agency's investigation.

    Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor says his department assisted in the raid.
    Immigration raids lead to Avon arrests
    Melanie Wong for the Aspen Times, April 26, 2008

    AVON, Colo. — Seven people were arrested from the Aspen Trailer Park in Avon on Wednesday after a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    ICE agents were also looking for people in Edwards, but no arrests were made.

    The arrests were part of the “fugitive operations program,” which targets illegal immigrants who have received federal orders of deportation but have not complied, said ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok.

    “These are targeted operations looking for specific people,” he said.

    Those operations “give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and community safety, including members of transnational street gangs, child sex offenders, and aliens with prior convictions for violent crimes,” according to the agency’s website.

    Three of the people arrested were from Honduras and four were from Mexico. One person was not a “targeted person,” but agents found out he had been deported and re-entered the country during the operation.

    Rusnok said the arrests were not related to four arrests made earlier this month by ICE agents at the Sunridge Apartments in Avon.
    Colorado immigration unit lists 800 arrests, 33 investigations
    AP, April 25, 2008

    DENVER — The Colorado State Patrol says its immigration unit has arrested nearly 800 suspected illegal immigrants and investigated 33 human smuggling cases since it became operational last year.

    The figures were released Friday.

    The Immigration Enforcement Unit has 23 troopers around the state whose primary responsibility is investigating illegal immigration and human smuggling.

    Patrol Sgt. Todd James says the troopers get four weeks of special training. He says the 23 officers aren’t enough to patrol the entire state.

    The Legislature established the unit in 2006, authorizing the patrol to hire additional troopers so its other duties would not suffer. It became operational in July 2007.

    Colorado was the 17th state to form such a unit.
    Tancredo slams pope on immigration
    By Anne C. Mulkern for The Denver Post, April 17, 2008

    WASHINGTON — As thousands packed into a Washington, D.C., stadium to see Pope Benedict XVI, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo attacked the pontiff for statements about immigration.

    Tancredo, a Littleton Republican, accused the pope of welcoming illegal immigrants to the U.S. in order to build membership in the church.

    The Catholic leader, while in Washington today, said: "I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home."

    Tancredo cited a March 1 editorial in the Wall Street Journal that said the Catholic Church "has been losing members rapidly — as much as a third of the native-born Catholic population. Meanwhile, it has gained members among foreign-born (mostly Latino) residents."
    Federal immigration agent acquitted of helping GOP - Juror says there were 'feelings' officer was 'singled out'
    World Net Daily, April 11, 2008

    A federal court jury in Denver has not only cleared an agent for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of illegally accessing a federal crime database to challenge a Democrat bidding for governor, members expressed feelings about the whole case.

    "He had a responsibility to do his job," juror Craig Disney of Westminster told the Denver Post after participating in the acquittal of Cory Voorhis. Disney said the jury didn't believe Voorhis intentionally did anything against regulations, and confirmed there were "feelings" he was "singled out" for charges.
    Jury acquits immigration agent
    By ANN IMSE for the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, April 10, 2008

    Immigration agent Cory Voorhis "was basically doing his job" when he provided confidential information on illegal immigrant plea bargains for a campaign ad against now-Gov. Bill Ritter, according to the foreman of the jury that found him not guilty Tuesday.

    Eighteen months after the Bob Beauprez campaign for governor collapsed over charges Voorhis had illegally provided secret government information for a political attack ad, that jury said there was nothing criminal about it.

    Voorhis told the Beauprez campaign that an accused heroin dealer, who was allowed to plead to trespassing on farmland in Denver, was the same man later arrested under a different name on a charge of sexual assault on a child in San Francisco. The sex charge was dropped, but the ad did not say that.
    Lawmakers reject $3.9 million plan to expand immigration unit
    AP, April 8, 2008

    DENVER — State lawmakers have rejected a plan to double the size of the Colorado State Patrol immigration unit.

    The proposal by Republican Sen. Ted Harvey would have increased the number of troopers in the unit to 48. That's the original number the patrol asked for two years ago.

    Adding 24 members would have cost $3.9 million.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the spending Tuesday, saying the money isn't available.
    Avon immigration raid tied to February robbery - Police chief: Two illegal immigrants detained after lying to Avon police
    By Steve Lynn for The Vail Daily, April 7, 2008

    AVON, Colorado — Two illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday in an immigration raid because they interfered with a two-month-old robbery investigation, Avon police said Monday.

    Roberto Fausto Marquina-Banegas and Jose David Marquina-Gonzales were arrested in Avon Wednesday after they “interfered” with an investigation of a February robbery at Castaneda’s Market in Avon, said Chief Brian Kozak of the Avon Police Department. The men were not charged with a crime, Kozak said.

    Kozak did not know the names of the three other suspects arrested. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released the sixth person who was arrested, Carlos Roberto Urquia, of Avon. Urquia was not a part of the robbery investigation, Kozak said.

    Marquina-Banegas and Marguna-Gonzalez “intentionally misled and lied to the investigators, slowing the (robbery) investigation,” Kozak said. The men were not charged with breaking Colorado law because police did not think they could be prosecuted, Kozak said.
    Tricky issue of immigration played down - Senate hopeful Schaffer takes a moderate view on the subject for his race against Udall.
    By Michael Riley for The Denver Post, April 7, 2008

    Calling America a country perfectly "capable of multitasking," Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer said the U.S. ought to be pursuing a guest- worker program at the same time it fortifies its borders.

    On that point at least, he's more moderate than the party's likely presidential nominee, John McCain — who now insists on an "enforcement first" approach — and even his Democratic opponent, Mark Udall, a signal that the GOP is unlikely to make immigration a wedge issue in this year's most important statewide race.

    Udall supported an immigration-reform effort that died in Congress last year and included both a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

    But his website doesn't mention that bill, instead emphasizing his support for border security and a series of get-tough measures that make it harder for illegal immigrants to steal identities or fool employers. And like McCain, Udall now believes enforcement should come first, said Taylor West, his campaign spokeswoman.

    Experts say the race for Colorado's open U.S. Senate seat shows the political difficulties of the immigration issue in 2008, especially in the West.

    Still, the issue presents a more delicate balancing act for Republicans. Polls show it's a top issue of concern for GOP voters in Colorado but much less of a priority for key unaffiliated voters.
    Action line: Greeley cops don't typically check immigration status on traffic stops
    By Andrew Villegas for the Greeley Tribune, March 17, 2008

    Question -- A Greeley police officer told me that officers don't do anything about undocumented workers in Greeley when they encounter someone on things like traffic stops. Do Greeley cops not do anything about them?

    Answer -- Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, spokesman for the Greeley Police Department, said that Greeley police officers who encounter someone on the street or during a traffic stop don't typically make inquiries into whether or not that person is in the country legally, unless they are arrested or charged.

    When a person is arrested and booked into the Weld County Jail, if deputies think the person may be in the country illegally, they place an ICE hold on the prisoner for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This may eventually mean immigration officers will take custody of the inmates to deport them.

    Late last year, between 12 percent to 15 percent of all people booked into the jail were undocumented, according to a November Tribune story.
    Principal Sees Injustice, and Picks a Fight With It
    By JACQUES BILLEAUD for the AP, March 14, 2008

    PHOENIX (AP) — As a labor contractor in the nation's winter lettuce capital, Francisco Chavez struggles to hire enough workers to pick and package the produce.

    Last year, ripe romaine sometimes went bad in the fields around Yuma, Ariz., because Chavez didn't have enough people to harvest the crop, which must be picked by hand. "That's my challenge — to get the crews," he said.

    Such complaints are becoming so common that lawmakers in Arizona and Colorado are considering creating their own guest-worker programs to attract more immigrant laborers. It's unclear whether states have the authority to adopt such measures, but legislators are tired of waiting for Congress to overhaul the immigration system — and they are taking matters into their own hands.

    State Sen. Abel Tapia, the Democratic co-author of the Colorado proposal, lashed out at Washington: "You had your chance to do a comprehensive immigration package a year ago, and you didn't do it, and I can't imagine that you will have anything by 2010, so what are we to do in the meantime?"

    The federal government has run guest-worker programs for more than a century, but congressional efforts to overhaul the system stalled in 2006 and 2007.

    The Arizona proposal aims to create a program run entirely by the state. Employers could recruit workers through Mexican consulates if they can document a labor shortage and unsuccessful efforts to find local employees.
    Local Republicans shift focus - County delegates pass resolutions about state and national issues
    By Ted Holteen for the Durango Herald, March 2, 2008

    La Plata County Republicans will shift their focus to state and national issues after holding their county assembly Saturday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

    The 98 assembled delegates officially nominated two candidates for the Board of County Commissioners' election in November. Incumbent Kellie Hotter will defend her District 2 seat against Democrat Peter Tregillus, and Bayfield veterinarian Harry Baxstrom will challenge incumbent Democrat Wally White for the District 3 seat.

    Much of the assembly was spent discussing 32 resolutions that were proposed during the Republican caucuses held Feb. 5. Only three of the resolutions were voted down, and 29 were approved.

    County Party Chairman Ron Tate said he will write letters on behalf of the party's central committee and submit them to local, state or federal government leaders, depending on the topic of the resolution. For example, a resolution asking the city of Durango to repeal a 2003 "Sanctuary City" policy will be sent to the Durango City Council. Councilors voted unanimously in July 2004 on the resolution that says city resources should not be used to identify or turn over undocumented immigrants to federal officials unless the immigrants commit crimes.
    Immigration bill gets initial nod - Sen. Schultheis settles for watered-down measure; little appetite in Legislature for major changes
    BY ED SEALOVER for the Colorado Springs Gazette, February 26, 2008

    Sen. Dave Schultheis tried again this session to require businesses in Colorado to verify the immigration status of new employees, and, for a third straight year, Schultheis watched his bill die in committee.

    For the first time, however, the Colorado Springs Republican did get a watered-down measure through that requires the Department of Labor and Employment to inform business owners of the existence of a federal employee verification program without requiring that they use it.

    After debate, this bill got preliminary approval from the Senate on Monday.
    Sanctuary policies for illegal aliens
    May 2, 2006
    Kelley Harp, Senate Republican Communications

    DENVER ? Senate Bill 90, by state Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, was signed into law Monday by Colorado Gov. Bill Owens. The measure prevents cities and local governments from implementing sanctuary policies allowing illegal aliens to live within their borders without any fear of punishment.

    The new law accomplishes this by prohibiting the administration of grants by the Department of Local Affairs to any local government that declares itself a sanctuary city.

    ?Illegal immigration is clearly a major problem in this country,? Wiens said. ?All levels of government must work together if we want to find practical and effective solutions to this problem. This bill provides the necessary consequences currently missing in state law to punish local governments who instruct their officers to blatantly ignore federal law.?

    Senate Bill 90, would require all local law enforcement officers to report to federal immigration officials any person arrested in their jurisdiction who they reasonably believe to be an illegal alien. The bill would also require each city and county in Colorado to report to the General Assembly whether or not it has instructed their peace officers to cooperate with state and federal officials in the enforcement of immigration laws.

    ?This bill received strong bipartisan support throughout the process,? Wiens said. ?With this in mind, my hope is this bill will encourage important debate on the subject at the municipal and county levels as well as greater enforcement of our current immigration laws.?

    Senate Bill 90 became law immediately upon the governor?s signature.

    The key provisions of the statute are as follows:

    Local governments cannot create a policy that bars police from cooperating with federal officials concerning the status of any person in Colorado.

    Police must notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency if a person arrested for a crime is a suspected illegal immigrant.

    The law does not apply to those arrested for minor traffic infractions or suspicion of domestic violence. However, immigration officials must be told if a person is convicted of domestic violence. Cities and counties must notify local law enforcement officers in writing of their obligation to comply with the law. Cities and counties must file an annual report to the state regarding how many illegal immigrants they reported to immigration officials.

    Local governments that fail to report suspected illegal immigrants will not be eligible for state grants.

    The United States has the most generous immigration policy in the world, allowing approximately one million legal immigrants into our country every year. In addition, approximately 3 million illegal aliens sneak into our country every year (Time Magazine, September 20, 2004).

    However, many cities have implemented sanctuary policies which call for city employees - including police officers - not to report illegal aliens to the federal authorities. Many sanctuary cities, in contrast to the wishes of most Americans, also offer public services and benefits to illegal aliens that impose great fiscal and social costs on the taxpayers. Sanctuary cities are illegal, made so by federal legislation enacted in 1996.1 While the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to enforce that law, legal action is now being pursued against some sanctuary cities.

    Colorado has several sanctuary cities.

    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Thanks to the efforts of concerned sovereign Coloradans, on October 4, 2005, the city of Fort Collins, Colorado, voted down a proposed ordinance that effectively would have made the city a sanctuary for illegal aliens. The resolution, two years in the making and written under the guise of protecting "immigrant rights", was in effect a sanctuary city policy. Read more about the policy and its defeat. See articles and more information.

    Denver, Colorado
    On December 2, 2005, concerned sovereign Coloradans surprised Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper at a burrito breakfast fundraiser at El Centro - Denver's Illegal Alien Hiring Hall. Citizens questioned him on Denver's sanctuary city policy and demanded the Denver Police Manual be changed to require full cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    See pictures and video of the confrontation and of Denver's illegal alien hiring hall.

    On May 8, 2005, Denver Police officer Don Young was assassinated in cold blood by an illegal alien employed at Denver Mayor Hickenlooper's restaurant. The horror is that Denver has an illegal alien sanctuary policy (Executive Order 116), implemented by former Mayor Webb in 1998, which:

    Declares Denver's strong opposition to federal distinctions between legal immigrants and commits city officials "to the delivery of services to all of its residents."

    Asserts that federal policy "unfairly impacts many of Denver's children, senior citizens and disabled residents." Vows that the city will back legal rights of all residents in Denver, adding that Webb will urge businesses, schools, hospitals and universities to do the same.

    Recently, City Attorney Finegan issued an opinion that Denver does not have a sanctuary policy and that Congressman Tancredo is wrong in saying that it does. Yet this opinion flies in the face of a 1999 City Attorney opinion on 116 that states the following:

    Executive Order No. 116 is a limited cooperation ordinance. A limited cooperation ordinance recognizes that illegal or undocumented aliens are present in the United States in great numbers. Such limited cooperation ordinances recognize the immigration problem and offer a solution by making adjustments for the benefit of public safety. Executive Order No. 116 discourages reporting of undocumented aliens who seek essential services. ... illegal entry is a criminal offense which can be enforced by both state and federal officials, whereas illegal presence is a civil offense enforceable only by the INS.

    Since the courts have strictly limited the enforcement of immigration laws by state and local law enforcement to the criminal provisions, it is clear that state and local law enforcement are under no affirmative duty to gather information on an individual's immigration status or to report a violation. Therefore, limited cooperation ordinances, like Executive Order No. 116, merely codify what the courts have already decided and that is, state and local officials have no jurisdiction to enforce civil provisions of federal immigration laws.

    Moreover, both the present [police] departmental policy 104.5 and the interim policy, § 103.52(3) go further and restrict officers from enforcing even the criminal portions of the INA, without prior approval from a supervisor or commander.

    Another order, Executive Order 119, authorized Denver to accept bogus Mexican Matricula Consular IDs, until prohibited by state law. Denver's police department operations manual states, "Generally, officers will not detain, arrest, or take enforcement action against a person solely because he/she is suspected of being an undocumented immigrant." It is not just Executive Orders 116 and 119, but rather these orders in conjunction with Denver's Police operations manual and city and police practices that embody Denver's sanctuary policy.

    Denver's sanctuary policy is nothing more than a de facto amnesty for illegal aliens, including known felons. Denver's police officers are handcuffed by Denver's sanctuary policy. They are effectively prevented from notifying immigration authorities about the presence in Denver of illegal aliens. This amnesty for foreign criminals places the safety and welfare of citizens at risk, and IT MUST STOP NOW!!

    1 Recognizing the adoption of sanctuary policies as a growing impediment to combating the wave of illegal aliens residing in the country, Congress adopted measures in 1996 that barred local ordinances that prohibited employees from providing information on illegal aliens to federal officials. The law says, ?Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit or in any way restrict any government entity or official from sending to or receiving ? information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.? - ? 434 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), and ? 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).

    For legal information on sanctuary city policies, see CAIR's legal section. Of particular interest is the March 22, 2005 Supreme Court ruling that local law enforcement may cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.