Denver, Colorado 2020-10-16 20:19:51 –
Immigration and customs officials have arrested 25 people in Colorado as part of a nationwide anti-fraud operation targeting so-called sanctuary towns ahead of the November election.
More than 170 immigrants likely to be deported have been arrested in total in Denver, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, according to an ICE and Department of Homeland Security announcement on Friday.
The Washington Post reported on a plan on September 29 that would start in California and expand to other cities with “sanctuary” policies, including Denver. It has been described as a political messaging campaign.
The week-long effort Oct. 5-9 focused on immigrants living illegally in the country who were arrested by local police for crimes and then released from county jails, even though the ICE wanted them to ‘they are being held, according to the ICE office in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah. and Montana. Officials highlighted in a press release the arrests of three Mexican citizens who had previously been deported or voluntarily returned, as well as the charges they were or were convicted of, including strangulation, child abuse and threatening crime.
“Local officials continue to let politics interfere with public safety by endangering the people they claim to protect,” John Fabbricatore, director of the Denver field office, said in a statement. “We have repeatedly sent our teams into the field to arrest criminals who should have legitimately been handed over to us within the safe confines of a prison. Many of these people have been accused of assault and are dangerous to us and the community as a whole.
Colorado law prohibits local and state prisons from holding anyone for civil immigration arrests after serving time or bail.
ICE officials say 86% of their arrests in fiscal year 2019 were of immigrants living illegally in the country who had been convicted of crimes or were facing charges.
Immigrant rights groups denounced the roundups on Friday, calling them ICE back to “business as usual” despite the pandemic.
“There is a confirmed outbreak of COVID in their detention center in Aurora. They target essential workers in the midst of a pandemic where they are often the sole breadwinner, ”Josh Stallings, an organizer for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said in a statement. “The agency’s practices are part of the political theater of the administration and only endanger public health.”
One arrest in Colorado included that of a father while he was with his 5-year-old daughter, according to IARC.