Denver ‘Exploring’ Immigration Legal Defense Fund

The fund is one component of a city proposal to stand in the way of federal immigration enforcement

According to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, it’s not the city’s job to enforce federal immigration law.

Hancock on Tuesday proposed an executive order stating the city will not cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The executive order places the city between ICE and immigrants by stating that not only will the Denver Sheriff’s Department be directed to not cooperate with ICE but the city will also set up a legal defense fund to aid non-profits working to protect immigrants. Although Hancock presented his plan for how the city can protect its immigrant population, the City Council has its own proposal and others are saying that neither plan goes far enough.

As stated in Hancock’s executive order, the city has already created a system of shelter from the Trump administration’s “chaotic immigration policies” such as reforming sentencing laws, allowing “plea by mail” to keep immigrants out of courthouses where they might be arrested by ICE, providing safe harbor for immigrant and refugee victims and joining litigation alongside other cities challenging the Trump administration’s immigration orders.

Just one part of the proposed executive order is the statement that the city will begin an “exploration” of setting up a legal defense fund in a partnership with Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez, the Denver City Council, nonprofits and the legal community.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the August 7, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.