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Douglas County sues State of Colorado over what it calls 'unconstitutional' immigration laws

Douglas County sues state of Colorado over "unconstitutional" immigration laws
Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 22:37:15-04

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Douglas County has filed a lawsuit against the State of Colorado over what it's calling "unconstitutional" immigration laws that "prohibit local government from cooperating with federal immigration.

The lawsuit was filed Monday morning.

It targets two laws signed by Gov. Jared Polis in recent years. The first is House Bill 19-1124, which prohibits law enforcement from assisting in non-criminal immigration and prohibits probation officers from giving information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. The second law this lawsuit targets is House Bill 23-1100, which prohibits local governments from entering into intergovernmental agreements with the federal government for civil immigration enforcement.

Douglas County Commissioners George Teal, Abe Laydon and Lora Thomas were joined by other local leaders Monday morning as they announced the lawsuit.

"It is our intent to bring suit specifically to address the illegal immigration crisis," said Commissioner Teal.

Commissioner Teal, along with others, said during the press conference that the purpose of the lawsuit is to prevent an influx of immigrants in Douglas County, like the one seen in Denver in the past year.

"Federal policies along the southern border has resulted in an unlimited string of illegal immigrants into our communities and we see it as the duty of the county to push back against the state laws that prohibit us from working with federal authorities to keep Douglas County and our communities safe," Teal said.

David Walcher, undersheriff for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, said if successful, the lawsuit would allow law enforcement officers to have more communication with federal officials, like ICE.

Douglas County sues State of Colorado over what it calls 'unconstitutional' immigration laws

"What we need is communication and cooperation, and probably most importantly, information sharing with our federal partners," he said. "I would really like to see more information sharing so we can act upon what we learned from our federal partners, and they can act upon what they learned from us."

El Paso County also joined in on the lawsuit against the state. El Paso County Commissioner Carrie Geitner was present during the press conference as well. She echoed the same message Douglas County Commissioners had, saying law enforcement officials in that community want more enforcement abilities.

"We are very frustrated and our sheriff is very frustrated with the way that his hands have been tied in the effort to keep our community safe," Geitner said.

Gov. Polis' office said they will not comment on pending litigation.

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