As stories and images of an immigration enforcement raids raced across the news and social media, Denver city leaders reassured a crowd of immigrants, refugees and others that the city would not use its law enforcement agencies as an arm of the federal government.
“Now I know that we all went to bed and woke up this morning with images of roundups across this country,” Mayor Michael Hancock told the crowd of hundreds gathered Saturday at Place Bridge Academy school in Denver. “I need to clarify very clearly for you that under no certain terms will our Denver Police Department change the way that it serves and protects the citizens of this city. … We will not become immigration law enforcement officers in this city.”
Among those seeking to reassure those gathered were Police Chief Robert White, Denver County Sheriff Patrick Firman and Acting U.S. Attorney for Colorado Bob Troyer.
Troyer urged calm, saying his office is awaiting further guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General on how the executive order related to sanctuary cities and deportation will take effect.
“That order is broadly stated, as most of those are, and without the further guidance it’s premature to panic about it, and, in particular, in Colorado, it’s premature to leap to any conclusions about what that would do to the relationships between the federal government and law enforcement in this state,” Troyer said.
The Colorado Independent’s Allen Tian captured some of the guidance and reassurance from Denver city officials and law enforcement.
Photo: Screen grab of Denver Police Chief Robert C. White addressing residents at Feb. 11, 2017 Denver Immigrant and Refugee Forum. Video by Allen Tian.