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Immigration Law

287(g) On Trial in Colorado

ACLU, Jan. 19, 2023

"In a three-day trial set to begin January 24 in Teller County District Court in Cripple Creek, Colorado, ACLU of Colorado lawyers will argue that Sheriff Jason Mikesell violates a Colorado statute and the Colorado Constitution by enforcing federal immigration law pursuant to an agreement with ICE.   

This is the first trial in the country in a lawsuit alleging that a sheriff violates state law by participating in a 287(g) agreement with ICE. 

Under the agreement, Teller County deputies receive training from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which then authorizes them to make immigration arrests and exercise other immigration-enforcement powers ordinarily reserved to federal officers. This is the only 287(g) agreement still operating in Colorado. 

Representing six Teller County taxpayers, ACLU of Colorado lawyers filed the lawsuit in 2019, shortly after Colorado enacted a statute that expressly forbids law enforcement officers from arresting or detaining persons on the basis of ICE documents that are not signed by a judge.   

In 2020, the district court ruled that the taxpayers did not have legal standing to bring the lawsuit. In 2022, the Court of Appeals reversed and sent the case back to the district court for trial.   

At trial, the ACLU will present evidence that under the 287(g) program, persons who posted bond were not released, as Colorado law requires, but instead remained imprisoned and were turned over to ICE. 

Plaintiffs’ attorneys in the trial court are Mark Silverstein, Annie Kurtz, and Sara Neel of the ACLU of Colorado and Byeongsook Seo, ACLU Cooperating Attorney, of Snell and Wilmer.   

WHEN: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 9:00 AM MT 

WHERE: 
Teller County Courthouse 
101 W. Bennett Avenue  
Cripple Creek, CO 80813

RESOURCES: 
Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment: https://www.aclu-co.org/sites/default/files/2022-12-30_nash_v._mikesell_msj_final.pdf 
ACLU of Colorado 2019 Complaint: https://www.aclu-co.org/sites/default/files/2019-06-27-Complaint-Nash-v.-Mikesell-Teller287g.pdf"