As many cities have taken the role of “sanctuary cities” devoted to protecting immigrants, the White House has doubled down on punishment by threatening to strip these places of federal grant money. For Trump, withholding this money is a way to gain back control over the cities and citizens that vehemently oppose his immigration policy. Denver, Colorado’s Mayor Michael Hancock has worked with local government and police departments to protect immigrants without actually violating federal immigration law.
The nature of the current immigration law contends that police departments must notify ICE when they are releasing immigrants that are wanted on a detainer. This allows federal law enforcement to arrest and detain immigrants just as they are being released. Notification is required in order to stay in compliance with federal law, however Denver has come up with some immigration policy proposals to further assist and defend these immigrants.
The main stipulation proposes that inmates be counseled on their legal rights while in jail if they are wanted on a detainer. This proposal is vague, as details have not been provided on what this counsel would look like or how far it would extend. Additional stipulations include:
Our Verdict: Denver is worried that immigrations arrests will increase if they do not comply with the federal immigration laws. However, their biggest worry most likely lies in the threat of defunding. While many immigration activists criticize that this proposal is not doing enough, it is still an attempt, perhaps a feeble one, at combatting Trump’s policy and protecting the city’s immigrants.