Actions

Westminster councilor compares undocumented immigrants to rapists

Councilman Bruce Baker defends comments
Posted at 11:24 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 01:24:26-05

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Westminster City Councilor Bruce Baker is defending his comments in which he compared people in the country unlawfully to rapists.

"We should and must hold these thieves accountable for their conduct," said Baker in a Jan. 9 Westminster City Council meeting, playing his recorded comments into the microphone.

He also called for everyone to help enforce immigration laws.

"If you would never be welcoming to rapists or murders or bank robbers, why would you be welcoming to people unlawfully in the United States?" asked Baker. "Just like stopping sexual assault is everyone’s responsibility, removing undocumented people from the United States is everyone’s responsibility." 

Last month, Baker was the only council member to vote against a"Welcoming Community" declaration, in which the city promised to take no legal action based solely on legal status.

"We're here to make people's lives better and not tear families apart," said Shannon Bird, a City Council member who said Baker's comment don't represent Westminster.  "To equate the violent crime of rape to one's documented or undocumented immigration status was frankly horrifying to me. It's not right, and it is not supported by the rest of our council."

Critics are concerned the comments could encourage vigilante justice, and they came out in force at Tuesday night's meeting, giving nearly three hours of public comment.

"I was blown away honestly," said Tangi Lancaster, who spoke in the meeting about being a rape survivor. "When he used his words and his comparison of rapists to people who are here unlawfully in the United States, I was revolted."

But Baker is not apologizing, saying he only regrets that people missed his point, which was that he wants all laws enforced and anyone in the country illegally kicked out.

"They haven't really listened to what I said with an open mind," said Baker. "We have wonderful laws in this country, but we only have wonderful laws if we all work to make them work."

---------

Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.