JOANN KALENAK, SENIOR BLOGGER, DCCR — At this morning’s public meeting, County Commissioners discussed a Resolution that would limit public services to selected immigrants. Commissioners Koontz and Lane wants the county to “document” its stance on limited aid to immigrants saying the funds and resources are not available.

Commissioner Suppes pointed out that the county is a subdivision of the state and under obligation to abide by state laws he says have already designed Colorado as a sanctuary state. He asked fellow commissioners to consider, instead, joining a lawsuit recently filed by Douglas County — and joined by several other counties — to fight the status.

However, all three commissioners appeared confused by the term “sanctuary” and what actually would be accomplished by a resolution. After discussion, Commissioner Koontz seemed interested in joining the lawsuit while Commissioner Lane stood his ground wanting a resolution to protect the county from providing services to “busloads” of immigrants coming to Delta County.

The problem with the entire discussion: Colorado is NOT a sanctuary state, at least not in the way commissioners seem to think. The state has recently passed two laws designed to offer some protections for immigrants: The first law, passed in 2019 (HB19-1124), prohibits local governments from cooperating with the federal government in immigration enforcement and prohibits the sharing of judicial information with federal officials. The second law, passed in 2023 (HB23-1100), prohibits any local government from entering an IGA with the federal government for civil immigration enforcement. In lay terms, the Sheriff cannot arrest someone solely based on immigration status and law enforcement can’t sic the INS after them once detained.

Commissioners agreed to discuss joining the Douglas County lawsuit and asked the county’s attorney to look into “the pros and cons.” Commissioner Lane also asked for a resolution that would also be up for discussion.

Read more about the lawsuit. 

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