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Colorado Bans Local Governments From Jailing Immigrants for ICE

June 12, 2023 (1 min read)

Alex Burness, Bolts, June 8, 2023

"Colorado this week became just the seventh U.S. state to prohibit local government agreements to detain immigrants in their jails on behalf of federal immigration authorities. House Bill 1100, which Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed Tuesday, directs local governments to “eliminate involvement in immigration detention.” It will ensure the end of detention agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Teller and Moffat counties, the last two places in the state with contracts where ICE pays to warehouse arrestees in local jails. The law calls for these agreements to terminate by next year, and also bans state and local governments from participating in any scheme to detain immigrants with a private prison company. Experts expect the move to force federal immigration officials to rethink overall enforcement strategy in the state, and ultimately to reduce civil immigration detention there. ... In his letter accompanying the bill signing, Polis seemed to signal that he would oppose any future legislation to ban local governments from entering into 287(g) agreements, which are similar to the local detention agreements banned by the law he just signed. Unlike those agreements, the 287(g) program deputizes local law enforcement to act with ICE and on its behalf, including by making arrests. In Colorado, only Teller County has such a contract, and it’s been a matter of legal dispute for years between the ACLU and the county. “All local governments should be free to determine how and when they work with federal immigration officials when it comes to immigration enforcement, and the state should never get in the way of efforts to enforce state or federal law,” Polis wrote."