Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Colorado Governor Expected to Announce Agreement with ICE Today

After months of negotiations with federal officials, outgoing Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is expected to announce an agreement over the Secure Communities program later today. The agreement is likely to make it easier to deport undocumented immigrants booked into Colorado jails.

Before agreeing to implement the Secure Communities program, which matches fingerprints of people in jail against a database maintained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ritter sought a compromise over four conditions: that there be an exception for domestic violence cases to ensure that police get cooperation from immigrants; that Secure Communities only be used for serious and high-level crimes; that there be reports on the numbers of people deported and the costs of the program; and that local communities have a clear option to opt out.

Republicans have been pressuring Ritter for months to sign the document, but immigrant rights groups have called the program “indiscriminate” and say it will unfairly affect immigrants with no criminal record.

Last week, La Plaza reported that up to a quarter of undocumented immigrants deported under the program had a clean criminal record and in some areas more than half of deportees had never been convicted of a crime, according to government statistics.

On Monday, ICE had yet to signal whether it had agreed to any of Ritter’s provisions.

Denver Post