Friday, July 28, 2006

Denver Not a Sanctuary City

It never has been, although I've heard my mom call it that a time or two. Yes, she listens to Peter Boyles. It was always a toss off point in a larger conversation, so I never looked it up before.

Now Colorado has its own Media Matters to look into these things for me. (via SquareState)

There is a difference between policy and practice. Sometimes the police have failed to detain suspects because of their legal status. But it has never been the policy of the police to refuse to cooperate with the federal government.

Colorado Media Matters says, "A federal immigration spokesman has stated that he knows of 'no Colorado city' that has a policy against reporting illegal immigrants to federal officials, a policy that is prohibited under Colorado law" as of May 1. However,
The News article also referred to Section 104.52 (3) of the Denver Police Department Operations Manual, which 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." However, the manual further explains that "when a suspect believed to be an undocumented immigrant is arrested for other charges, a 'Refer to Immigration' charge will be added to the original charges. Sheriff's Department Personnel will then notify the I.N.S. authorities according to their procedures.' " According to the News, "Denver sends ICE the names of jailed foreign-born inmates. So do other counties in Colorado."

The police have sometimes failed to send ICE the names of jailed foreign-born inmates. The wording of the DPD Operations Manual requires police to do something they have sometimes failed to do. But that is a violation of policy, not a policy of sanctuary.

So the newly enacted law which Boyles touts as proof that Denver was a sanctuary city makes law, not mere policy, the requirement to report foreign-born inmates. I don't see where the penalty is for officers or departments who fail to comply.

Plus, the law still doesn't require police to take action against detainees who may be suspected of being illegal immigrants. So nothing has really changed.

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