For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Public Safety Enforcement Priority Act Overwhelmingly Passes First Test
Faith leaders, advocates for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and immigrant rights champions call on Denver City Council to support council ordinance
August 2nd, 2017 – (Denver, CO) On a 5-1 vote, Denver City Council’s Safety, Housing,
Education & Homelessness Committee voted to pass the Public Safety Enforcement Priority Act. The ordinance is now headed to the full city council for a first reading vote on August 21, 2017. Council members Paul López, Robin Kniech, Stacie Gilmore, Paul Kashmann, and Wayne New voted in support of the ordinance, while Councilman Kevin Flynn opposed. “The people who are directly impacted by this policy have demonstrated that this policy matters to make Denver a safer city,” said Denver At-Large Councilwoman Robin Kniech, one of the ordinance’s sponsors.
The vote happened less than 24 hours after Mayor Hancock’s staff informed the Denver Post of a potential executive order aimed at protecting the immigrant community. While the Mayor’s support is welcomed by many, Kniech and Lopez’s policy creates two critical protections absent from the Mayor’s current draft: 1) all Denver city employees would be prohibited from communication and collaboration with ICE, and 2) the Denver Sheriff Department would no longer send notification information to ICE about the time and place of an individual’s release from the Denver county jail without a warrant.
“Mayor Hancock, thank you for your renewed interest in the well-being and safety of our immigrant community. Help us make Denver stronger and safer by working with us to pass this ordinance that has been crafted with leadership and input from community members,” said Corrine Rivera-Fowler of Padres y Jóvenes Unidos.
Responding to Councilman Flynn’s concerns that this proposal would create false hope, Salvador Hernandez of Mi Familia Vota responded, “False hopes is telling Denverites that weare safe and welcoming, while allowing Denver employees to continue communicating with ICE. In the last fiscal year, at least 279 undocumented Denver residents were deported as a direct result of Denver Sheriff Department’s compliance with ICE requests. This policy will defend Denver residents from ICE’s federal overreach.”