Colorado sheriffs say they won’t be shamed by new ICE naughty list

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement list published for the first time this week left Colorado’s sheriffs scratching their heads over how and why the federal government is choosing to publicly shame local law enforcement agencies that it says are not cooperating.

The list, promised by the Trump administration as part of its pledge to crack down on immigrants living in the country illegally, names local jails and jurisdictions that ICE says have not cooperated with detainer requests.

However, sheriffs are arguing the list does not make sense and is not informative as to what actually happens when their jails release someone ICE wants to deport.

For example, County Sheriffs of Colorado, an organization that represents the state’s sheriffs, is listed as a jurisdiction that has a policy limiting cooperation with ICE. But the organization doesn’t set policy for individual departments, said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, who also serves as the group’s president.

“On our end, it feels like intimidation,” said. “I don’t think any of us believes that because we won’t violate the Fourth Amendment or violate case law that we’re providing sanctuary.”

President Donald Trump has said he intends to withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities. But Smith said he doesn’t see how the list could serve as legal evidence of a county providing sanctuary.

“I would be shocked to see them push it based on this list,” he said.

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ICE plans to release its “Declined Detainer Outcome Report ,” weekly. Four jurisdictions in Colorado made the first report for declining 11 detainers between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3. Boulder County Jail accounted for six of those detainers.

Boulder County County Sheriff Joe Pelle told The Daily Camera it is not his job to enforce federal immigration laws and he doesn’t want the job, either. Instead, he would prefer to build trusting relationships with immigrant communities.

The Denver Sheriff Department was on the list for releasing a Mexican national who had served a sentence on a driving under the influence conviction. The detainer was issued Dec. 9 and the detainer was declined on Jan. 29, the ICE report said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Simon Crittle called out ICE in a statement, saying “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,” Crittle said.

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