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DHS report calls out cities, counties for not cooperating with ICE

DENVER -- The Trump administration is busy calling out cities and counties across the country for not complying with federal government requests to detain immigrants who might face deportation.

Locations in Colorado are on a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The report gathered data over the course of week from late January to early February. It detailed more than 200 requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to local law enforcement, asking police officers and sheriff’s deputies to hold people accused of local crimes for up to 48 hours.

The report, ordered by President Donald Trump, shows clear frustration from the federal government and local police agencies across the United States. Officers and deputies are routinely saying no to detainer requests from ICE agents.

“Every other police officer, every other sheriff ... before they do an arrest, they need to get a warrant signed by a judge,” said Julie Gonzales with The Meyer Law Office. “ICE should have to do the same thing.”

Gonzales works for a law office serving hundreds of Colorado immigrants. She called the DHS report “Trump propaganda,” and an attempt to bully and intimidate local law enforcement.

But Trump supporters said it’s an effective way to highlight roadblocks of immigration enforcement. Gonzales, though, insisted that at the end of the day, the detainer requests should not be granted because they are not legal.

“Let’s be clear -- a detainer is a request made by ICE, signed by ICE,” Gonzales said.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said his deputies will honor arrest warrants reviewed and signed by a judge or magistrate.

He also said ICE detainers are not warrants and added that holding people on ICE requests might violate people’s civil rights.

Broomfield, included in the DHS report, said it agrees with Pelle and follows the same policy.

A Denver Sheriff Department spokesman said the city does not shield criminals and will honor federal warrants.

 

"We're focused on enacting policies and practices that protect people’s safety and their rights, including the rights of immigrants, while allowing federal authorities to focus on immigration enforcement that removes dangerous and violent felons from our streets," Simon Crittle said.

"We should all focus on creating a system where federal and local governments respect each other’s respective roles and work together to eliminate any gaps.

Weld County, which was also called out in the DHS report, did not respond for comment.

Immigration advocates said more local authorities are not cooperating with ICE requests in order to build community trust and to encourage immigrants, who are victims of crimes, to come forward.

But DHS said local authorities could at least be more forthcoming about when jailed immigrants will be released, giving the feds time to take those people into custody.

Local law enforcement agency officials said they aren’t responsible for cost associated with enforcing immigration laws.