The members of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police have recently received numerous inquiries regarding how our police agencies work with federal immigration authorities, and how local agencies interpret our roles under the law.
Although our member Chiefs represent dozens of diverse Colorado communities with varied political opinions and priorities, we are in agreement that Immigration Law is a federal responsibility, and that it is not our role to assist with deportation efforts. Getting involved in immigration enforcement would be outside of our responsibility and mission, and would have a chilling effect on the willingness of individuals to report crime or assist with our investigation of crime.
That stance, most assuredly, should not be interpreted to mean that we provide sanctuary to those who are violating immigration law. Our member agencies continue to work cooperatively with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to include cooperating with our County’s jails to share information on the national origin of all arrestees who are jailed. We provide logistical support, whenever asked, to all of our federal partners who may be conducting lawful operations within our communities. Additionally, we strongly support the efforts of ICE to arrest, detain, and deport undocumented individuals who have committed felony crimes.
The officers under our command do not, however, check the immigration status of individuals with whom they routinely come in contact, nor does ICE expect them to do so. To conduct such checks or ‘sweeps’ would negatively impact the willingness of individuals to cooperate with local police. Moreover, there is no constitutional requirement for citizens to provide proof of immigration status when contacted by police officers, and therefore it is not the practice of our officers to make such inquiries or report the results of such inquiries to ICE.
The members of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, and the police agencies that we represent, comply with the U.S. Constitution and all binding statutory and case law on this topic.