Denver immigrant groups blast Sunday ICE raids as ‘terror’ tactic

Protesters line up outside the ICE detention center for immigrants in Aurora Friday at the No More Deaths/No Más Muertes demonstration. (Photo by Grace Carson.)
Protesters lined up outside the ICE detention center for immigrants in Aurora at the No More Deaths/No Más Muertes demonstration on June 21. (Photo by Grace Carson.)

Reports that Denver will be targeted in a national immigration crackdown on Sunday were met with anger, skepticism, defiance and fear Friday.

“This is a dangerous time we are living in, and under this president our freedoms are under attack, and we need to stand up for them,” Tay Anderson, a Denver activist and educator, told scores of protesters outside the ICE immigrant detention center in Aurora Friday night. “We should not persecute immigrants, but embrace them because we still have room in this country for them.”

The rally was a part of a nationwide No More Deaths/No Más Muertes demonstration held June 21, the longest day of the year and one of the hottest and deadliest for those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The protesters were further fueled by Friday’s announcement that President Trump has ordered a mass roundup of up to 2,000 families Sunday.

Federal immigration officials confirmed Sunday’s raids are planned in as many as 10 U.S. cities in an operation known as “Family Op,” the Washington Post reported. The president, who has made halting the flow of immigrants to the United States a cornerstone of his presidency and re-election bid, signaled his intentions in a tweet Wednesday: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

Many in Denver said the raids may, in reality, be more political show than substance.

“Threatening to separate families through ICE’s ‘Family Op’ raids that are planned for this Sunday is yet another tactic by the Trump administration to fear monger our communities,” said the Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition, CIRC, in a statement. “Although Trump’s threat of deporting ‘millions’ is obviously hyperbolic, without the capacity or resources to carry out, CIRC urges people to know and exercise their rights at all times.”

Joining CIRC in urging immigrants to know their rights was the Colorado Rapid Response Network, a coalition of immigrant rights groups.  

“We urge all immigrants who are at risk, or who live with or near someone who is at risk of being targeted by this operation to review Know Your Rights materials, to complete a family safety plan, and to have the Rapid Response Hotline Number easily accessible 1-844-864-8341.”

The Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, 12 faith-based communities that offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants in danger of deportation, started placing people in sanctuary on Friday and will continue to through Sunday, said coalition founder and protest organizer Jeanette Vizguerra.

“We will continue to fight, and to host sanctuary and ‘Know Your Rights’ trainings. We need everyone around the Nation to do the same,” Vizguerra said.

Families to be detained in hotel rooms

ICE reportedly is zeroing in on immigrants who received court-ordered deportation papers earlier this year. Directors of the two agencies in charge of the raid, ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, apparently have differing views on how aggressive to be in rounding up immigrants, with Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan urging a slower approach.

The Washington Post reported ICE plans to use hotel rooms to detain parents and children until all the members of a family are together and ready for deportation. “Officials also acknowledge that they might arrest individuals they cannot immediately deport — known as ‘collateral arrests’ — and likely will release those people with ankle monitoring devices,” the newspaper reported.

So-called collateral arrests — undocumented individuals who face arrest and detention because ICE encounters them while they are looking for someone else — are common, said the Colorado Rapid Response Network. The network’s hotline data show that in Colorado, 84% of immigrants detained in raids are bystanders.

Detainees ask for protesters’ help

At Friday’s “Desert and Detention” protest outside the Aurora detention center, protesters placed shoes on the ground to represent the number of those killed both by crossing the border and in ICE detention centers. They held signs with the names and ages of those who were killed and read them aloud one by one.

After they were finished reading the names, they marched around the detention center chanting phrases such as, “Melt the toxic ICE,” “No more raids” and “Children’s rights are human rights.”

Meanwhile, a group of detainees, both children and adults, appeared at the barred windows holding signs with phone numbers to call to help get them out. Others displayed how long they had been in the detention center. One had the word “help” written on it.

‘Denver stands with our immigrant and refugee families’

State and city officials had little information to share Friday about the raids.

“Denver is aware of recent reports that immigration enforcement would increase in the coming days, but Denver Police and the City of Denver would never receive advance notice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity,” Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted Friday.

“However, we want to reiterate that Denver stands with our immigrant and refugee families, that we do not support family separation or the round-up of immigrant families to spread fear in our community,” he added.

Gov. Jared Polis’ office said it contacted federal officials but hasn’t “been able to get a clear answer about this operation and whether it involves actions in Colorado,” the Denver Post reported.

Rep. Jason Crow wrote in an email, “The administration’s fear-mongering and disregard for the sanctity of family continues. As we struggle with the humanitarian crisis at the border, mistreatment of migrant children, and problems at the Aurora detention center, we should all see this for what it is: a political ploy that does nothing to fix our broken immigration system.”

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette said ICE confirmed it would be conducting operations against immigrants but wouldn’t give her details, Channel 7 reported.

“What this administration is doing to these immigrant families is shameful,” DeGette said in the statement. “Instilling fear in the hearts of families across the country by announcing these nationwide raids, while continuing to lock up kids at the border, is not who we are as a country.” 

Others made it clear Denver’s Latino community will not be cowed by threats.

“We will not allow this administration to bully and terrorize us into a state of panic, as they intend with this sick operation,” said Ana Rodriguez of the Colorado People’s Alliance. “We will resist these attacks as a unified community, we will make public the atrocities ICE commits, and we will continue to fight back. We are here to stay.”

Austin Fleskes contributed to this report.


  1. All of these people have received due process and gotten a final deportation order that they have ignored. Why is it that they get to ignore that order that a US citizen would be thrown into jail for? ( well any warrant for their arrest though they wouldnt get a deportation order).

    Laws matter. Enforcement of laws matter. These people need to go home to send a message; just because you got here; doesnt mean you get to stay.

    NO amnesty. NO work permits. NO nothing but deportation.

  2. Even our Founding Immigrants were bigots, but that’s no excuse for continuing a bad American tradition.

    18th Century:

    “Few of their children in the country learn English … The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages … Unless the stream of their importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”

    “We should build a wall of brass around the country.”

    19th Century:

    “The enormous influx of alien foreigners will in the end prove ruinous to American workingmen, by REDUCING THE WAGES OF LABOR to a standard that will drive them from the farms and workshops altogether.”

    “Standing behind them are Christian employers of this land, who would rather import heathen willing to work for barely enough to sustain life than retain a brother Christian at a wage sufficient to live as becomes a Christian. We do not want Opium or the Chinese who grow it.”

    “We demand the change of the national naturalization laws by the repeal of the act authorizing the naturalization of minors…We demand for the protection of our citizen laborers, the prohibition of the importation of pauper labor, and the restriction of immigration…We protest against the gross negligence and laxity with which the Judiciary of our land administer the present naturalization laws, and against the practice of naturalizing aliens.”

    20th Century:

    “The people of this country are too tolerant. There’s no other country in the world where they’d allow it… After all we built up this country and then we allow a lot of foreigners, the scum of Europe, the offscourings of Polish ghettos to come and run it for us.”

    “They are coming in such numbers and we are unable adequately to take care of them…It simply amounts to unrestricted and indiscriminate dumping into this country of people of every character and description…If there were in existence a ship that could hold three million human beings, then three million Jews of Poland would board to escape to America.”

    “Now, what do we find in all our large cities? Entire sections containing a population incapable of understanding our institutions, with no comprehension of our national ideals, and for the most part incapable of speaking the English language. Foreign language information service gives evidence that many southern Europeans resent as an unjust discrimination the quota laws and represent America as showing race hatred and unmindful of its mission to the world. The reverse is true. America’s first duty is to those already within her own shores.”

    21st Century:

    “The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

    “We need tough immigration enforcement to keep dangerous criminals out,”

    “Build That Wall”

    “Make America Great Again”

    “Trump 2020”

  3. Build America’s Wall, back it with force and commence mass deportation immediately with a target date of July 4th, 2020 to be free of illegals. Demand media provide fair and balanced coverage, not just the neurotic version biased toward illegals.

  4. “Americans’ concern with immigration continues to be heightened, as 23% name it the most important problem facing the country. This is by one percentage point the highest Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993.

    Asked their preferences for U.S. immigration levels, 37% of Americans say it should be kept at its present level, while more say it should be decreased (35%) than increased (27%).

    The issue continues to challenge U.S. lawmakers, as Congress and Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been unable to enact meaningful legislation to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to the country and develop a plan for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. As such, the issue promises to remain a major one in the coming presidential election.”

  5. Lucky for Americans, the majority have long supported a path to citizenship even for the majority of undocumented immigrants, but also agree that immigration brings more strength than burden to their country and oppose significant new wall construction.

    Rationalizations aside, make no mistake, Conservatives have a long line of bigoted obstructionist history of once again the tyranny of the vast minority where immigration of any kind is concerned.

    Wake up and smell the popular majority.

    The “Both Sides” strawman ain’t fooling anymore than it did in Charlottesville.

    Why not just pwn the complicity?

  6. “President Barack Obama entered the White House on a promise to reform America’s immigration system. His urgency ultimately dissipated and reforming America’s immigration system will not be counted among his achievements.”

  7. I look forward to the day Vizguerra is boarding “Frijole ” air. Got to hand it to her…She’s got Cajones! Imagine having the hubris to defy a deportation order and enter the country illegally after her conviction on document fraud., and making demands while we feed her an kor babies?
    happy Landings Mojada

  8. Yep. Republican Obstructionism derailed Obama’s majority-supported immigration plans.

    Look who is starting to get it.

    Now ask yourself why they fight so often against the will of the majority.

  9. “More than two years after the Obama Administration launched its aggressive expansion of family detention in an attempt to “deter” the arrival of asylum-seeking Central American families, numerous problems associated with such practice have been brought to light.One such issue is the separation of family units while in U.S. custody. A report released this week by the American Immigration Council, Divided by Detention: Asylum-Seeking Families’ Experiences of Separation, calls “family detention” a misnomer and examines what happens when this practice splits families apart instead of actually keeping loved ones together.”

    It was hard for Republicans to obstruct a Congress controlled by Democrats. (2009-2011)

    Of course, that’s probably difficult to see when your head’s buried in the sand (Ostrich Politics) or other uncomfortable crevices.

  10. That’s it?

    It’s Obama’s fault for not getting legislation through without Republican help during the first two years of his term nearly a decade ago?

    Yeah…not so much. Probably plays great on Limbaugh though.

    Let’s recap.

    The majority of Americans do not agree with Republican immigration policies

    Republican Obstructionism has for many years, across many administrations, denied the majority of Americans their wishes on a number of issues, including immigration.

    Why is that?

  11. LOL

    You’re showing your belly again and it looks like it’s yellow.

    You’ve been watching too much MSNBC.

    You seem incapable of accepting uncomfortable facts (Electoral College, Democrats controlled Congress 2009-2011, President Trump, 71 % think economy is strong)

    So let’s go over this again, try to keep up: From 2009-2011 Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the Oval Office, The unholy trinity. From 2009-2011 Democrats did not need Republican support and with Democrats in total control of the legislative process for two years (2009-2011) Republicans could not obstruct the Democrat’s agenda so, yes, it is Obama’s fault for failing to push his immigration program through when he had an unobstructed legislative path.

    Unless you’re saying Democrat’s couldn’t legislate their way out of a paper bag.

    Boy, that was too easy.

    By the way, is you last name McCormick?

  12. Yeah….I heard you the first time….it’s Obama’s fault.

    So…why is it that Republicans consistently govern against the consent of the majority?

    Particularly on the issue of immigration….



  13. If—as you repeatedly and erroneously suggest—-”Republicans consistently govern against the consent of the majority” they would never win an election and yet Republicans control the Senate so the question now becomes how do you explain that?

    And if Democrats are so in tune with the “majority” why in two years were Democrats unable to pass Obama’s immigration legislation despite having total control of Congress or in any of the other six years Obama was in office?

    And if Democrats are so in tune with the “majority” why were they unable to sustain total control of Congress?

    By the way, is your last name McCormick?


  14. Indy again. Please stop the racist name calling. This is the second time we’ve asked. Won’t be asking again.

  15. You’re almost there. You’re starting to ask the tough questions that Republicans run away from.

    Conservatives haven’t won a popular election in many years. In fact they’ve only won one popular vote in three decades. Votes for democrats in the Senate and House outnumber those for Republicans. Consistent polling shows that the majority of Americans do not support Republican policies.

    Conservatives have clung to aging vestiges of power through an out of date electoral college system borne from bigotry and illegal, racist gerrymandering. Ain’t exactly breaking news here….this is all common knowledge outside of the FoxLimbaugh Vortex.

    So let’s recap one more time. Republicans govern from the minority FOR the minority.

    It’s like figuring out there’s no Santa Claus, right? Wait until I tell you about your Skydaddy.

    So…why support a party that governs against the will of the majority?

    Rhetorical of course.

    You do so because you are a member of the vast minority. There’s nothing wrong with that. I say all the power to you in your efforts to make commonsense arguments for your positions. I hope Conservatives everywhere take a page from your new book and do the same instead of inciting hate and bigotry.

    That said, let’s not pretend that Conservative positions are mainstream or that both sides are equally to blame for the obstruction that has been a pox on our house for many years.

    That’s just silly talk.

  16. ms Griego I’m well aware of your bias,,I used to read the “Rocky” I have said nothing that has not been said of me by the other side or by the “Reporter’s” here. Littwin feel’s anyone that voted for Trump is less than human… Ban me if you must.. I expect nothing less from the left. Nothing i said was “Racist” as illegal is not a race. Mojada or Mojado are common term’s used among illegal’s themselve’s as well Mojadito to describe one with iffy status..
    Nothing I said was untrue or slanderous as this woman is a convicted criminal in the country illegally in defiance of our laws. Would you cut me the same slack? No

  17. LMAO

    Speaking of silly talk, do you read what you write before you hit the “Post Comment” button? You should try it.

    Stop….watching….MSNBC! It’s leaving you unable/unwilling to answer even the simplest questions like, well, these:

    If—as you repeatedly and erroneously state—-conservatives haven’t won a popular election in many years how do you explain the fact that Republicans control the Senate? Further, how do you explain that as recently as 2017-2018 Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate?

    You do realize—–although I’m not 100 percent sure—-that all members of the House and Senate are elected by popular vote, right?

    Let me repeat that to give you a chance to wrap your mind—-or what’s left of it—-around the question: You do realize—–although I’m not 100 percent sure—-that all members of the House and Senate are elected by popular vote, right?

    As a big fan of majority rule you should celebrate that fact, right?

    By the way, is your last name McCormick? A yes or no will suffice.


  18. You obviously didn’t read my post very carefully.

    Facts have a well known liberal bias, right?

    More votes are cast in this country for Dem Senators and Dem Congressmen than are cast for Republican Senators and Republican Congressmen. There is a distinction there that you’re either missing or not willing to acknowledge because of the illegal racist gerrymandering that you’re also not acknowledging.

    More votes have been cast for Democratic presidential candidates than Republican candidates in all but one election in the last thirty years.

    The majority of Americans do not support the majority of Republican positions.

    Everything you’ve just read is true, whether you have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that or not.

    Facts matter.

    So…after struggling to spit out the hook…why not just own your position in the vast minority and stop pretending that most Americans agree with you? There’s no shame in it.

  19. Here…I can see you’re struggling…let me lay some knowledge on you that might put the pulse of the electorate in better perspective for you.

    More that 12 million more people voted for Democratic Senators than their Republican counterparts in 2018.

    More than 8 million more Americans voted for Congressional Dems than they did Republicans.

    We all know how many more millions voted against Comrade Trump than for him.

    Republican positions on issues from abortion to immigration to climate change to the middle east are overwhelmingly unpopular. That’s just a small list.

    These statistics aren’t aberrations. We’ve seen these same trends for many many years.

    The really interesting question might be to ask who led you to believe otherwise, but regardless, are you starting to understand why popularity for Republicans and their policies in places like Wyoming and Fox and Friends doesn’t translate to popularity amongst the majority of your fellow countrymen?

  20. Since you obviously won’t/can’t offer a rational answer to why (facts matter)Republicans control the Senate I’ll ask you one you can (maybe?) answer: Where is KD going?

  21. Oh my…I had no idea you have no idea…so here’s Civics 101. Republicans running for the Senate can get fewer votes (thus less support) in this country and still hold the Senatorial majority.

    Thus…Republicans may get elected in places like Wyoming and Idaho, but that doesn’t mean the folks who support Republicans nationwide outnumber those who don’t.

    Make sense? Did you not grow up in the US? My 5th grader understands this concept…so why are you still having trouble with it?

  22. “Republicans may get elected in places like Wyoming and Idaho”

    There you finally did it!!!! And it really didn’t hurt. You’re getting so close, so very close, so maddeningly close to the light. Now all you have to do is open your eyes.

    Here comes the hard part: Do you agree that there are states that have populations greater than Wyoming and/or Idaho? That should answer your question about why folks who oppose Republicans nationwide outnumber those who do. Do you get it now? If not, have your 5th grader explain it to you. And while he’s at maybe he can explain the Electoral College to you because if, as you have claimed in the past, facts matter, well, the Electoral College is a fact.

    And now, where is KD going?

  23. Nothing you’ve just said in anyway disputes the facts outlined above. That said, I’m proud of you for acknowledging that Republicans received millions and millions of fewer votes than their Democratic counterparts in Congress and the White House. Many millions. For many elections now.

    Next time maybe take my word for it instead of making me corner you over something so well known outside of the Dan Caplis Fantasy Hour.

    So to recap…for decades Republicans have governed without the consent of the majority of Americans. Decades. They also own, forever, the unprecedented obstruction from the vast minority on a number of issues, including immigration, abortion, equal rights, education, foreign policy, etc, etc. They’ve literally thrown themselves in front of the bus as a tantrum for not liking where it’s going.

    In the future, you may want to consider the fact that what’s popular in Wichita and Wyoming is not what’s popular with the majority of your countrymen. By a wide margin.

    I hope this little civics lesson sheds some light on why Conservatives own the low ground…without the majority of Americans by their side.

    Must hurt to realize you don’t wear the white hat in your own country, but it’s not too late to change.

  24. And nothing you said disputes the fact that Republicans continue to control the Senate. Duly elected Republicans. Repeat after me: Duly elected Republicans which strongly suggests that voters in Wyoming don’t care about what’s popular in California.

    Nor should they.

    The Electoral College is a fact you continue to ignore but I didn’t expect you to because you’d have to admit President Trump was duly elected. Is your 5th grader near? You may need him.

    I hope this reality check doesn’t interrupt your dream.

  25. You seem to have confused me with someone else. I didn’t say Republicans don’t hold a Senatorial majority…I just pointed out the fact that they hold one without the consent of the majority of voters. Did you need to repeat that to yourself a few times for that to sink in?

    So…just to recap again for the cheap seats…millions more Americans voted for Democratic candidates in the Senate, House and WH. This is why Republicans (even the senators) do not enjoy the consent of most Americans. Not just on immigration, but the lion’s share of issues before the country. How Wyoming or Wichita feels about them doesn’t matter. They still repeatedly the minority nationwide.

    I’ll repeat that so that it resonates.

    Republicans do not represent the majority of Americans.

    Period. Full stop.

    Haven’t for many years.

    Just think what you’ll learn tomorrow!

  26. Did you know Thomas Chalkley? He wrote, “There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”

    That’s you!

    You’re getting so close to seeing but you still refuse to.

    Here’s what you just said, “I didn’t say Republicans don’t hold a Senatorial majority…I just pointed out the fact that they hold one without the consent of the majority of voters.”

    That makes no sense. Each Senator won a majority of the votes in their state. That’s why they’re in the Senate. Which part of that are you having problems understanding? Where is your 5th grader when you need him?

    Or are you suggesting voters in California should determine who represents Wyoming?

    One more thing: If you actually believe polling should drive politics then why hasn’t the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives impeached our president?

    Is your last name McCormick and where is KD going?


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