Denver won't hold inmates solely on immigration status

Article author: 
Tom McGhee
Article publisher: 
The Denver Post
Article date: 
1 May 2014
Article category: 
Colorado News
Article Body: 

Denver will no longer hold inmates for federal immigration authorities solely on the basis of immigration status, Sheriff Gary Wilson said Wednesday.

The move to refuse federal immigration holds follows federal court rulings in other states that a county sheriff's department is potentially liable for a Fourth Amendment violation if it holds someone in custody solely on the basis of an immigration detainer.

On Wednesday, Denver joined Boulder, Mesa, Routt, Jefferson, Grand and San Miguel counties in saying they would no longer honor requests for the holds, called detainers.

"It is the legal equivalent of asking the sheriff to make a new arrest" without any legal grounds, Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Colorado chapter of the ACLU, said at a news conference. He was joined by Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez, civil rights lawyers and activists.

In a recent letter, the ACLU had asked the state's sheriffs to review and revise their policies on the holds.

"This change in policy is effective immediately based upon the changing legal landscape. DSD will continue its cooperation with ICE officials and provide requested information regarding persons in custody," Wilson said in a memo.

In an e-mail, ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said the agency will continue to cooperate with law enforcement throughout Colorado while seeking "to enforce its priorities by identifying and removing convicted criminals and others who are public safety threats" ...

CAIRCO Research

Office of the Sheriff Denver
Melissa Ortega, Assistant to Sheriff Gary Wilson


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