With a 10-0 vote, Denver City Council unanimously passed the Denver Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act on Monday night, essentially meaning Denver will have set rules for how city employees interact with immigration officials.
The bill, sponsored by council members Paul Lopez and Robin Knieche, was expected to pass, and did so with a standing ovation from the audience.
It’s now in writing that city employees, like officers, will not collect information on immigration status. The city won’t detain anyone beyond that person’s sentence on behalf ICE. The city won’t share anyone’s citizenship status for the purpose of immigration enforcement. The city will not allow ICE agents into jail without a warrant. Exceptions to these rules include necessary peace-keeping, or following a warrant from a federal judge.
The ordinance does not prohibit the sheriff’s office from notifying ICE if someone wanted for deportation is leaving the jail – a source of controversy since earlier this year, when the city came under fire for only giving ICE 26 minutes’ notice before releasing an inmate from a downtown Denver jail. Ever Valles was a known “immigration enforcement priority” before he was arrested and charged with the murder of a man at a light rail station.
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