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Tancredo's False "Sanctuary City" Web Ad

Congressman Tancredo has sent out another shameful, false attack in an attempt to make headlines in the governor's race. He is, once again, making the 'sanctuary city' claim that has been repeatedly debunked – most recently by The Denver Post which said, "Tom Tancredo has it all wrong. Denver is not a safe harbor for illegal immigrants, nor would Colo. be with a Gov. Hickenlooper."

His latest attempt to perpetuate this claim is to exploit the tragic events caused by Francis Hernandez, who was convicted of causing a crash that killed three people – including a 3-year-old boy. Tancredo's attempts to link this tragedy to Hickenlooper are as baseless and false.

Hernandez eluded federal immigration officers and more than 8 local law enforcement agencies in Colorado. It is an outrage that we still do not have comprehensive federal immigration reform that would keep this type of criminal from eluding law enforcement. Most of us agree we need a federal immigration solution to secure our borders, develop an identification system that works, hold employers accountable, and have an accountable guest-worker program.

Cheap political attacks, like this one from Tancredo, only slow progress toward a real solutions on immigration.

Here are the facts:

FACT: Hernandez, who used 12 aliases and two dates of birth, was arrested 19 times since 2003. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation reported Hernandez had been arrested by 8 different police departments in Colorado and another in California.

According to the Department of Public Safety, an Immigration Alien Query (IAQ) was sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement from Aurora Police Department on August 5, 2008. ICE responded: "Searches will not be completed on subjects...that are United States Citizens." ICE was basing this response on mis-information that Hernandez provided. (Source: Here)

FACT: Denver's policies and practices comply with federal law and do not prevent law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters.

  • Denver never has been and is not a sanctuary City. The City of Denver complies—and always has complied—with relevant federal and state immigration laws. What's more, the city has never adopted a "non-cooperation" policy regarding the enforcement of federal and state immigration laws, nor does the city prevent communications between local law enforcement and federal officials on immigration matters. (Source: City of Denver)
  • The Denver Post recently wrote, in an editorial titled Denver is not a Sanctuary City, "Tom Tancredo has it all wrong. Denver is not a safe harbor for illegal immigrants, nor would Colo. be with a Gov. Hickenlooper."
  • Denver adheres to Senate Bill 90 (SB 90). Passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2006, SB 90 requires state and local law enforcement officials to alert Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they have a reasonable belief that the arrestee is illegally in the country.
  • The Denver Sheriff's Department, working in conjunction with the Denver Police Department, sends info on all foreign-born County Jail inmates to ICE. It is Denver Police Department policy to send the names of undocumented foreign-born arrestees to ICE. (Source: Denver Police Manual, 104.52(3).) Since the passage of SB 90, Denver has reported close to 7300 arrestees to ICE:
    • 2006: 1,351
    • 2007: 1,979
    • 2008: 2,088
    • 2009: 1,853
    • 2010: 1,793
    • (Source: Denver City Attorney's Office.)
  • The Denver Police Department does and will enforce aggravated re-entry (a federal violation) when an illegal immigrant returns after being forcibly deported or deported due to criminal charge.

John Hickenlooper will enforce Colorado’s existing laws—some of the toughest in the country—and will work to identify and deport dangerous criminals illegally present in Colorado. Hickenlooper has stated, “I acknowledge the rich and extraordinary diversity of culture that makes Colorado special. And yet, among the numerous issues currently being debated in the United States, perhaps none sparks more impassioned debate than illegal immigration. The influx of illegal immigration has not been fair to those seeking to come to this country through legal channels and it has created significant problems for employers, law enforcement, state and local governments. From a policy perspective, there is too little coordination and consistency between federal, state, and local legislation.” Which is why, as governor, Hickenlooper will coordinate among federal, state and local law enforcement to identify offenders to make Colorado safer by removing these individuals from our communities.

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