Fort Collins defeated a proposed sanctuary city policy
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.
The city of Fort Collins, Colorado, had considered an ordinance that effectively would have made the city a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. The proposed ordinance was soundly defeated at the Fort Collins City Council meeting on October 4, 2005,
The proponents of the so-called Human Rights Protection Ordinance (HRPO) have done this community a service by focusing a bright light on the issue of mass immigration in general and illegal immigration in particular. However, their proposed "solution" to the problem of illegal immigration was the exact opposite of what is needed.
The HRPO spoke to "respect the rights of, and provide equal services" to people who are here illegally - illegal aliens. It would have done so by severely limiting the ability of city employees to check the immigration status of people who are seeking city services or have been picked up for infractions such as traffic violations. It also would have required officials to recognize I.D.'s from other countries (including bogus matricula consular ID cards issued by foreign embassies) as valid identification in place of a U.S. drivers license.
Legitimatizing law breaking through the passage of the HRPO would have been bad public policy. It would have created an atmosphere of disrespect for our nations' laws and reduce the safety of Fort Collins residents by unnecessarily handcuffing law enforcement officials. The only ones who might have felt safer under the HRPO would be have been illegal aliens.
Numerous polls show that vast majorities of Americans are very concerned about illegal immigration. What Fort Collins citizens want and the nation's citizens are demanding is increased enforcement of our nation's immigration laws; not the lower levels of enforcement that sanctuary policies promote. Citizens want employers of illegal aliens punished, they are against drivers licenses for illegal aliens, they oppose sanctuary policies, are against amnesties and massive guest worker programs, and want our borders secured.
The Fort Collins City Council meeting
It was a long City Council meeting in Fort Collins, an hour and a half north of Denver. After more than an hour dealing with zoning issues, the so-called "Human Rights Ordinance" was addressed. Three advocates for the Human Rights Committee presented their case for the ordinance. Then individuals in the audience were allowed to speak. Over 50 people spoke on both sides of the issue. Many people gave rock-solid testimony why the ordinance was wrong. Testimony in favor of the ordinance relied upon emotionalism and tired platitudes, continually emphasizing that the ordinance had nothing to do with immigration.
This process took several hours. Then the Council members spoke. One particularly memorable council member comment went something like this: "I can not support deceptive legislation like the Healthy Forests or Clear Skies initiatives that are the opposite of their titles. Similarly, immigration is mentioned something like 20 times in the ordinance. This ordinance has nothing to do with human rights - it is an immigration ordinance." Another member stated approximately: "I have been dealing with this for two years, now. There are better ways to deal with suspected human rights issues other than by passing more legislation." A vote was taken and the proposed Fort Collins Sanctuary City ordinance was killed in a 5 to 2 vote!
This was the culmination of two years of effort by the Human Rights Committee and open borders proponents. CAIR only found out about the effort about three months before the deciding City Council meeting, but nevertheless rallied supporters throughout the area against the misguided ordinance. Never underestimate the power of concerned individuals. You made a difference! This defeat sends a clear message to other City Councils who may be considering similar ordinances.
Thanks to the dozens of folks who showed up to testify against the proposed ordinance. Immigration sanity would not have persevered without your presence. The sovereign people of the United States, Colorado, and Fort Collins persevered and won out against the forces of illegal invasion, neo-Marxism, and open borders!
The defeated sanctuary city ordinance
The HRPO ordinance was titled "Ordinance of the Council of the City of Fort Collins, amending Chapter 13 of the City Code to add a new Article III concerning discrimination based on immigration status." Excerpts from the defeated ordinance follow, with comments:
"WHEREAS, Fort Collins is a city striving to respect the rights of, and provide equal services to, all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or immigration status; and"
Comments: the citizens of Fort Collins never voted on whether to strive to provide equal services regardless of illegal immigration status. Indeed, had activists not recently exposed the issue, citizens would not have heard about this ordinance at all.
"WHEREAS, Fort Collins is a city striving to promote community safety, protect witnesses and victims, prevent racial profiling and profiling based upon immigration status, prevent pretextual arrests, promote tolerance, and allow people to do their jobs; and"
Comments: the citizens of Fort Collins never voted on whether to strive to prevent profiling based on illegal immigration status, nor to tolerate illegal aliens in their city, nor to allow illegal aliens to do their jobs."
"WHEREAS, recent terrorist attacks and the resultant tightening of security may have left immigrant communities afraid to access benefits to which they are entitled, for fear of being reported to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly, INS);"...
Comments: legal immigrant communities are not afraid to access benefits to which they are entitled, as they are in no fear of being deported. Illegal aliens have no benefits to which they are entitled, and their only right under our laws is to a swift and humane deportation.
"No city employee shall inquire into the immigration status of any person."...
"No city employee shall use city resources or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is or may be being an undocumented alien, being our of immigration status, or illegally residing in the United States."
"Where presentation of a state driver's license is customarily accepted as adequate evidence of identity, a city employee shall, to the extent permitted by state and federal law, accept identification in the form of a photo identity document issued by the person's nation of origin, such as a driver's license, passport, or matricula consular, and shall not subject the person to a higher level of scrutiny or different treatment than if the person had provided a Colorado driver's license."
"It is illegal in Colorado to accept the bogus matricula consular ID card."
The following September 15, 2005 letter to the Fort Collins Weekly, by Steven Shulman, sheds light on the defeated ordinance:
"The proponents of the "Human Rights Protection Ordinance," which would prevent the police from asking about immigration status, claim that it would encourage illegal aliens who are the victims of domestic abuse to contact the police. However, domestic abuse often goes unreported. There is little reason to think that the HRPO would make much of a difference in that regard.
The proponents of the HRPO have made no effort to document their claim. Many cities have passed laws similar to the HRPO, and the evidence that it results in more crime reporting should be easy to come by. The proponents could have interviewed the police and social service providers about their perceptions of the problem. They could have even tried to conduct a survey of local illegal aliens. Instead, the proponents expect us to take their assertions and anecdotes at face value.
It is bad in principle to ignore one crime in order to encourage the reporting of another. For example, crack addicts probably have high rates of domestic abuse, but no one suggests that we should respond by refusing to enforce drug laws. Instead, we rely upon the judgment of the police to enforce or ignore laws in light of the circumstances.
The proponents of the HRPO call it a "public safety issue" and deny that it has anything to do with immigration. This is patently absurd. The HRPO sends out a signal that Fort Collins welcomes illegal aliens. It even begins by stating that "Fort Collins is a city striving to protect the rights of, and provide equal services to, all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or immigration status..."
Aside from the question of why we should provide equal services to illegal aliens, particularly in the midst of a budget crisis, it is worth wondering if the HRPO really would increase public safety. Illegal aliens, like any population group, contain some fraction that commit violent crimes. The harder it is for the police to detain them, the harder it will be for the police to stop the violent criminals among them. Cities like Los Angeles that have passed sanctuary laws like the HRPO have found that it makes it more difficult for them to fight violent crime.
The HRPO adds nothing to existing laws against ethnic profiling and discrimination. All it does is turn Fort Collins into a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. I find it hard to believe that City Council will agree that its mission includes mandates against law enforcement."
By Matthew Benson, The Coloradoan, October 5, 2005
The city of Fort Collins won't set limits on when its employees or police can ask residents whether they're in the country legally.
City Council rejected a measure Tuesday that would have barred city employees from asking individuals' immigration status except in specified cases. The so-called Human Rights Protection Ordinance failed on a 5-2 vote, with councilmen David Roy and Ben Manvel as the sole support...
The proposed ordinance would have placed strict limits on when and how residents [illegal aliens] could be asked their immigration status.
Exemptions would have been offered in a handful of cases such as determining eligibility for government programs. Police could have asked about immigration status when it was essential to an investigation or prosecution of a crime, but not in cases of petty offenses or traffic infractions.
Critics said the measure would have tied the hands of law enforcement, and Chief Dennis Harrison has warned it could have made his officers unwitting criminals while doing their jobs....
by Glen Colton, The Coloradoan, to be published September 30, 2005
The proponents of the so-called Human Rights Protection Ordinance (HRPO) have done this community a service by focusing a bright light on the issue of mass immigration in general and illegal immigration in particular. However, their "solution" to the problem of illegal immigration is the exact opposite of what is needed.
...The HRPO, if passed, would effectively make Fort Collins a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens.
Legitimatizing law breaking through the passage of the HRPO is bad public policy.... Numerous polls show that vast majorities of Americans are very concerned about illegal immigration. What Fort Collins citizens want and the nation's citizens are demanding is increased enforcement of our nation's immigration laws; not the lower levels of enforcement that sanctuary policies promote. Citizens want employers of illegal aliens punished, they are against drivers licenses for illegal aliens, they oppose sanctuary policies, are against amnesties and massive guest worker programs, and want our borders secured...
[The] City of Fort Collins [should] Reject the HRPO and continue to allow law enforcement officials to use their discretion in asking for immigration status. Do not accept matricula cards as valid I.D - this is illegal in Colorado; Ensure that all employees of the City and its sub-contractors are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants....
By Matthew Benson, Fort Collins Coloradoan, August 28, 2005
After nearly two years of study and the formation of a special task force, a proposed Fort Collins ordinance that bars discrimination based on immigration status still faces an uphill battle....
Councilman Kurt Kastein balked at the ordinance's first clause, a provision stating that the city strives to provide equal services "to all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity or immigration status."
"We are not striving to provide equal services to all people in our city if you include folks who are here illegally," he said.
Mayor Doug Hutchinson said public interest in the measure has been high - and overwhelmingly negative....
By Kate Forgach, Fort Collins Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, August 25, 2005
...The hot topic was illegal immigration—particularly across the Mexican-American border—and eight protestors holding signs outside the library signaled potential controversy ahead....
Fort Collins resident Glen Colton moderated the evening’s event, which was organized by himself, five other local activists and the Lakewood-based Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR). CAIR Director Fred Elbel also spoke at the August 22 meeting....
CAIR members organized the meeting, “because it’s time to start talking about immigration, as a community and as a nation. The purpose of the meeting was to get people out, educate them and let them hear this side of the argument. We don’t believe that our side of the argument has been heard,” Colton says, adding that a primary goal is to see immigration slowed to about 200,000 entries per year. Current estimates put the number of Mexican immigrants into the United States at about 800,000 to 1 million each year....
Closer to home, the Human Rights Protection Ordinance came under fire at the meeting. Scheduled for presentation to city council on September 6, the ordinance would prevent city employees and police from asking an individual’s immigration status under most circumstances....
Testimony of Heather Mac Donald, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims, April 13, 2005
...Sanctuary laws are a serious impediment to stemming gang violence and other crime. Moreover, they are a perfect symbol of this country’s topsy-turvy stance towards illegal immigration.
Sanctuary laws, present in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, Houston, and San Francisco, generally forbid local police officers from inquiring into a suspect’s immigration status or reporting it to federal authorities. Such laws place a higher priority on protecting illegal aliens from deportation than on protecting legal immigrants and citizens from assault, rape, arson, and other crimes....
Sanctuary laws violate everything we have learned about policing in the 1990s. Police departments across the country discovered that utilizing every law enforcement tool in their tool chest against criminals yielded enormous gains....