Time for “sanctuary cities” to hang it up
Do Coloradans applaud when local jails refuse to transfer a convicted felon to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for possible deportation? We don’t think so. A bill that passed its first legislative test last Monday, SB17-281, will prohibit cities or any local jurisdictions from adopting policies that restrict or obstruct compliance with federal immigration law.
There are three main issues raised by so-called sanctuary policies. Such policies are of statewide concern because they undermine public safety, the first responsibility of government. Our bill not only prohibits sanctuary policies, it makes sanctuary jurisdictions pay a price for those irresponsible policies by giving crime victims standing to sue for civil damages.
Second, sanctuary policies are a clear violation of federal law. Federal courts have consistently ruled that federal law is supreme where immigration is concerned. Finally, the incarceration of criminal aliens in Colorado jails cost taxpayers over $100 million annually. It makes sense to cooperate with federal efforts to take custody of them upon release and deport them as permitted by federal law.
Victims of criminal alien crime should have the right to seek damages from a local jurisdiction that welcomed and protected the convicted criminal alien through sanctuary policies. We doubt the taxpayers of Denver and Boulder will be as “welcoming” of these lawsuits as their politicians have been toward the applause from sanctuary advocates...
It is not good news that ICE has curtailed the use of detainers in Colorado in recognition of the fact that many Colorado sheriffs will not honor them until remaining legal issues are resolved. However, it remains a fact that no federal court in the 10th Circuit has ruled against the constitutionality of complying with ICE detainers in Colorado.
The bottom line is that sanctuary policies do not “protect immigrants.” Immigrants are legal residents and need no protection from ICE. Sanctuary policies do not even protect those here illegally, they protect mainly criminal aliens, and those unlawful residents are subject to federal immigration law enforcement...
Tim Neville represents Senate District 16 in the Colorado General Assembly and Vicki Marble represents Senate District 23.