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City officials: ‘Aurora has never been a sanctuary city’

AURORA, Colo. — City officials don’t want Aurora labeled as a “sanctuary city” but say the police department’s role in immigration enforcement is limited.

“Some people, and media, have incorrectly called Aurora a sanctuary city,” officials said in a statement released Thursday. “The City of Aurora has never been a sanctuary city and has a long history of cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Our police officers and detention officials support the federal government’s efforts to quickly contact and detain undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes. However, we do not investigate or detain individuals based solely on their immigration status.”

Officials said the city cooperates with ICE to the extent allowed under the Constitution.

City police fingerprint every individual arrested and detained at Aurora’s 72-hour detention facility, and send those records to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI notifies ICE if anyone has been “flagged as potentially being classified as removable.”

Then, it is up to ICE to contact Aurora to say it wants a certain person in its custody.

If that person is being transferred to a county jail, or will be released or bonded out, Aurora officials must notify ICE.

However, Aurora can’t hold a detainee “based solely on a request from ICE,” officials stated.

“Aurora’s detention facility is only a 72-hour facility, and the city has no right to hold someone who legally bonds out of the facility,” officials said.

City officials point out that out of 12,214 people arrested by the Aurora Police Department in 2016, just 13 detainees were picked up by ICE.