Denver Sticking To Sanctuary Policy Following Arrest Of Hit-And-Run Suspect Who Was Already Deported Six Times
By: Jason Hopkins
- Juan Sanchez, an illegal alien who was deported from the U.S. six times, was charged with vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Denver reiterated its intention to release Sanchez if he makes bond, and will not conduct a transfer of custody to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- ICE criticized Denver for its position, noting that individuals with significant criminal histories are able to be released back into the community when local police don’t cooperate with the agency.
ICE revealed Sanchez carries an extensive list of immigration violations that spans nearly two decades. Not only is he living in the U.S. illegally, but he was deported from the country six times: once in 2012, three times in 2008, and twice in 2002. It’s not immediately clear how Sanchez was able to make so many unauthorized re-entries into the U.S., which is a felony under federal law.
Colorado’s state government, which is under the control of the Democratic Party, has become increasingly antagonistic toward federal immigration authorities. Gov. Jared Polis, for example, signed into law in May legislation that prohibits local law enforcement from detaining a suspected illegal alien solely on the basis of an ICE request, prohibits officers from providing an illegal alien’s personal information to ICE, and requires police to read illegal aliens their Miranda rights when coordinating an ICE interview.
“Pursuant to the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, when the Denver Sheriff Department receives a request for notification from ICE the inmate is advised of their rights upon receipt and prior to release. We fax Ice notification of release when the individual enters into the release process. It is the responsibility of ICE to take the individual into custody. We do not do any secure handoff and do not participate in the transfer unless an incident would occur that would threaten the safety of the community.”
However, ICE said this policy doesn’t cut it, noting that such a last-minute notification is not “functional.”
“Under federal law, ICE has the authority to lodge immigration detainers with law enforcement partners who have custody of individuals arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer form asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody,” an ICE spokesperson told the DCNF.“A notification that an alien is about to be released to the lobby is not a functional way to ensure transfer of custody,” the spokesperson continued.