DENVER -- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock proclaimed Tuesday as "Denver Immigration Day of Action" despite the Trump administration claiming it's a sanctuary city and threatening to withhold federal funding.
The mayor's office said the proclamation is part of "a new effort to showcase the diverse people who make Denver the beautiful home we are all proud of."
The mayor made the proclamation at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on the front steps of the City and County Building.
“I am joined by the beautiful and diverse people who help to make Denver the best city to live in America,” Hancock said.
Standing in front of that diverse group, the mayor said he wanted to celebrate the lives and contributions of immigrants who call Denver home.
“An immigrant is your police officer, your plumber, your kids teacher, your neighborhood grocery,” Hancock said.
A Denver immigrant is also a local baker standing with the group.
“I’m Marjorie Silva, I’m from Denver, Colorado, and this is home,” Marjorie Silva said from the podium outside the building.
Silva left Peru 17 years ago to pursue the American dream. She now owns Azucar, a successful bakery employing 15 people.
“We are smart, hard-working people that we just want to be part of the community,” said Silva.
And an officer, the mayor says, including PC Chanthavanong, a refugee from Laos who’s been with the Denver Police Department for 16 years.
“As a proud immigrant, now a United States citizen, I’m honored to be here to give back to the community that has given me so much,” Chanthavanong said.
Tuesday's gesture comes on the heels of a Trump administration report shaming Denver, Aurora and Boulder for limiting their cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal government's requests to detain immigrants who might face deportation.
The mayor said Denver will not shield violent criminals but will prop up those who are the fabric of the community.
“We’ll go much further as a nation to celebrate and elevate this as opposed to fall prey to threats and intimidation. It won’t work,” Hancock said.
The action piece of the proclamation is the launching of “Our Immigrant Stories” at Denver public libraries. The mayor is asking people to share the immigrant stories of their families.