DENVER (CBS4)– Dozens of people filled the room where the Denver City Council met on Wednesday to consider taking a stance on protecting immigrants from federal agents. The safety committee passed the ordinance by a vote of 6-1.

This comes on the same day as Pres. Donald Trump endorsed the RAISE Act, an immigration bill aimed at reducing legal immigration overall, and give priority to English-speaking applicants.

(credit: CBS)

RAISE stands for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment. It’s a merit-based system that would reward immigrants who are educated and have job skills.

The debate focuses on whether a proposed ordinance, that offers protection for illegal immigrants, is within the scope of Denver’s legal authority.

Denver City Council members Robin Kniech and Paul Lopez (credit: CBS)

Denver City Council members Robin Kniech and Paul Lopez are spearheading the bill. More than 100 people were in attendance to urge council members to approve the ordinance.

Among those in attendance at the meeting was Victor Galvan who told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger he is in the country without proper paperwork.

“Are you worried about being arrested here today?” asked Sallinger.

“Definitely not worried about being arrested here today. I have a lot of community around me and I don’t think they would allow it,” replied Galvan.

He was one of those anxious to urge the city council safety committee to give its okay to an ordinance that would safeguard those immigrants going to court from being put in jail if they that don’t have proper documentation.

The proposal doesn’t list Denver as a sanctuary city and it doesn’t give hardened criminals a free pass.

(credit: CBS)

The proposal does take a tougher position on information sharing with the federal government. It would not require local authorities to share immigration status or hold inmates with an immigration detainer past their release date.

An immigration attorney, who backed the proposal, reiterated that it complies fully with the law. She said that first, it is the council’s job to protect residents and their tax dollars, which it does.

Immigration attorney Joy Athanasiou(credit: CBS)

“Your duty, number two, is to comply with the U.S. Constitution at all times. This ordinance does that. Your job, number three, is also to comply with and not be inconsistent with the federal law or state law. This ordinance does that as well. This ordinance simply says that we are not going to violate the constitution simply because the federal government is asking us to,” said immigration attorney Joy Athanasiou.

(credit: CBS)

This debate comes as Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is preparing to sign a new policy that pushes for similar policies and creates a legal defense fund for immigrants.

“We want people to trust the judicial system and we need them to show up,” said Hancock.

The safety committee passed the ordinance by a vote of 6-1. Now it goes to the full council for the first reading.

The only descending vote came from Councilman Kevin Flynn, “I think it’s providing a false sense of security that this activity will be reduced.”

Comments (141)
  1. Stu Pedasso says:

    Harboring an illegal alien is a federal felony, right?

  2. immigrants don’t need protection. illegal aliens do.

  3. Neil Sorens says:

    Maybe the federal government will consider enforcing federal drug law in Denver in return.

  4. What I want to see is 200 ICE agents bust in and see what they do. Arrest them all.

  5. Government is more interested in protecting illegals than it’s own citizens. ( SPIT )

  6. When ICE shows up to to arrest an illegal alien, just let the city council show them them ordinance. That will really scare ICE away.

  7. Jolly Roger says:

    Ask these, and every other Bolshevik of the Democrat Party if their pro illegal immigration policies would apply if the illegals were blond-haired blue-eyed Ukrainians and Russians. Somehow I think their zeal for foreign invasion would plummet to zero. The RAISE program is the first sane pro-American immigration policy since the 1960’s. Time we emulated countries like Japan. Only demented Western countries import poverty and crime. Non-Western countries in Asia and elsewhere (beyond Western Europe, North America, and Australia/NZ) only allow immigrants who will positively contribute to the economy and society from the moment they enter the country. We need doctors, dentists, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, not more indigent illiterate farm workers and welfare cases. And it doesn’t matter where the professionals come from… be it Mexico, India, or Nigeria.

  8. Protect our own citizens? Nah! Enforce our own laws? Nah! Increase using our taxes to pay for services like education, health care, and legal assistance for criminal illegals? Yep! Make sure that criminal illegals don’t have to pay out-of-state tuition when our U.S. citizens do? Yep! Enforce existing immigration laws? Nah!

  9. Greg Miller says:

    Hey Denver protect your legal citizens not criminal illegals!

  10. tngilmer says:

    This is what happens when you allow a bunch of left coast loons to move to your state and take over.

  11. City council will lose this fight. Federal law overrules local treason.

  12. Rick Fischer says:

    That’s a great trick: declare any law you don’t like violates the Constitution, and you then can ignore it.

  13. Keith Diggs says:

    These people should be SHOT AND KILLED AS TRAITORS.

  14. Excellent…then when an illegal commits rape, robbery or murder against a Denverite I expect that they will suffer in silence.

  15. The Feds aren’t* interested in immigrants, just ILLEGAL ones

  16. Inaccurate title by CBS. The Feds are interested in immigrants, just ILLEGAL immigrants, particularly FELONS protected by Sanctuary Cities. No sanctuary for their victims. SMH

  17. Mike Favetti says:

    Just which part of illegal do those people not understand?

  18. All illegal immigrants everywhere, listen up! Go to Denver, ALL OF YOU. Overwhelm their services, bankrupt the city, overrun the streets and suburbs. Show them the love they’re showing you.

  19. By all means, make your state into a sanctuary for illegals and potheads – then watch your tourism dwindle to a few dollars…

  20. Denver City Council loons are doing their best to put Denver’s law abiding citizens at risk. Instead of working quickly to prevent more crimes like that of Ever Valles and Nathan Valdez (TIm Cruz murder), Denver is paving the way for more of them. Federal arrest warrants should be issued for these City Council members for their acts of sedition.

    1. I will continue my practice of not spending a red cent in Denver.

  21. These “leaders” don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word ILLEGAL!
    These folks should be prosecuted!

  22. In Bell, California, the city council violated the law as en banc.

    They were then arrested en banc.

    They were tried separately and are all serving their sentences separately.

    Food for thought.

  23. Treason. Pure and simple.

  24. These “Immigration Attorneys” must have all slept the day they taught law at law school. The US Constitution doesn’t provide for protection or benefits for illegal entrants to go to the public restroom in this country much less providing free welfare and employment.

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