Legislation signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis makes it much more difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to apprehend suspected illegal immigrants.
House Bill 1124 was signed into law by Polis on Tuesday. The new law bars local law enforcement from arresting or detaining a suspected illegal alien solely on the basis of an ICE request. The legislation also prohibits officers from providing a suspected illegal immigrant’s personal information to ICE, and it requires Colorado police to read illegals their Miranda rights when coordinating an ICE interview.
The new law serves as a major setback for federal immigration authorities operating in Colorado.
ICE detainers are requests made by agents to local law enforcement, asking them to detain inmates for up to 48 hours longer than their release date if the individual is suspected to be living in the country illegally. The extra two days gives authorities time to decide if the person should be deported or not.
Immigration-rights advocates and other supporters celebrated the signing of the controversial bill.
“Thank you to all of the people who helped to make this a reality and advocate for our immigrant community,” wrote Colorado Democratic state Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, the sponsor of the bill, in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Everyone should have the right to safely and confidently interact with law enforcement without fearing that they may be turned in to the federal agencies.”
“It is thrilling. We don’t have words to express what this feels [like],” stated Maria Mercedes Garcia of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, according to The Denver Post. “All of our hard work was worth it.”