Denver City Council Enhances Protections for Immigrants

The council voted 10-0 Monday in favor of a local law that forbids police and jail employees from cooperating with federal immigration agents unless they have a warrant.

An enhanced immigration policy stance approved Monday night by the Denver City Council boils down easily: Don’t ask about anyone’s status, don’t share it and don’t help federal authorities with enforcement, reports the Denver Post. The measure was supported by dozens of people who filled the council’s chambers for a public hearing. “I say that this policy cannot pass soon enough,” said Corrine Rivera-Fowler of the advocacy group Padres y Jóvenes Unidos. The new ordinance has several exceptions, but it sends a clear message that Denver and its leaders should stand publicly with immigrants who face risk of deportation under Trump administration policies.

The council approved the measure, called the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, on a 10-0 vote. Co-sponsor Paul Lopez said Denver police would not do the federal government’s “dirty work.” “If you have any business with us whatsoever,” he said, “we ask one thing — show us a warrant.” Denver’s formalized stance is a mix of existing policies and practices that have been newly codified, along with a few new ones. Among those is a new rule barring the city’s jails from allowing federal immigration agents access to secure areas for inmate interviews without a judicial warrant.