Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently wrote a letter pleading with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to respect the courts and schools of Denver. The move comes after ICE agents detained people at Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse and after a raid conducted near Colorado High School Charter in March, according to The Denver Post.
This week, videos have surfaced on YouTube which show ICE agents arresting an undocumented man at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse as people plea for police officers to intervene.
On April 6, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wrote a letter that was endorsed by Denver County officials asking for ICE agents to stop the practice of arresting people at courthouses and schools. Part of the complaint in the letter is that ICE agents were referring to themselves as police officers instead of ICE agents. Hancock believes ICE strategy erodes the trust a community is supposed to have in local law enforcement.
“Identifying yourselves as ‘police’ confuses and erodes the trust between our local police and the immigrant community endangering the community at large,” the letter reads. “Again, Denver’s concerns in this regard are being increasingly expressed by city leaders and local law enforcement officials elsewhere in the United States.”
ABC7 Denver reports that the videos were posted on YouTube under the direction of Meyer Law Office, which represents several undocumented immigrants.
According to ABC 7 Denver, Meyer Law Office posted the videos to prove that ICE has no interest or intent of cooperating with local law enforcement. Attorney Hans Meyer argues ICE is showing a complete disregard for the requests made by local officials.
“We have reached a major crossroads here,” Meyer told ABC7 Denver.
Meyer added: “The mayor, the city council, they need to step up and pass substantive sanctuary policy and do it now.”
The arrest shown below was conducted at the very courthouse the Denver mayor mentioned in his letter to ICE.
According to The Denver Post, another video of a man being arrested on May 5 is raising more questions. Matthew Keller, who is an attorney for Meyer Law Office, was with the man and told The Denver Post that the ICE agents involved did not produce a warrant. Instead, they handed him a piece of paper with the contact information for their public information officer.
An ICE spokesman has defended the move to start arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses, saying that ICE doesn’t consider them to be sensitive locations — despite what the mayor of Denver says.
“We asked them to respect sensitive locations and take measures around these sensitive areas so as not to potentially put bystanders at risk, hinder the prosecution of crimes, or compromise our police-community relationships vital to public safety,” the mayor’s spokeswoman Jenna Espinoza told The Denver Post, while confirming that ICE has not responded to the mayor yet. “We will continue to drive a clear and unwavering message to ICE that this is not the right approach and they must find another route to enforcing immigration laws.”
You can watch the videos of the arrests below: the arrest made on April 28.
The arrest made on May 5.
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