DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Denver officials on Thursday said they would not hand over information requested by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement on four men wanted for deportation. ICE, the Homeland Security agency tasked with arresting and deporting people in the U.S. illegally, sent four administrative subpoenas earlier this week to law enforcement looking for information on three Mexican nationals and one Honduran who had been in custody in Denver.

It was the first time subpoenas had been sent to a law enforcement agency — an escalation of the conflict between the Trump administration and so-called sanctuary cities.

Henry Lucero, deputy executive associate director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, said Wednesday that the agency doesn’t want to get into the business of subpoenaing fellow law enforcement agencies — he called it a last resort. But because of changes in how municipalities work with ICE, it could be necessary to expand the practice to other cities in order to catch dangerous people and deport them, he said.

ICE officials believe they have the legal right to do it under the Immigration and Nationality Act. If a law enforcement agency doesn’t comply, ICE officials said they could work with federal officials to take the subpoena to a judge who could hold them in contempt. ICE officials had no additional comment Thursday.

Chad Sublet, Senior Counsel to the Department of Safety in Denver, noted in a letter to ICE officials that the subpoenas were administrative — not issued by a judge — and there was no verifiable information on the documents to show the purpose was for law enforcement and not civil immigration enforcement.

“The documents appear to be a request for information related to alleged violations of civil immigration law,” he wrote. “Based on these facts, we are denying your request.”

Sublet wrote the subpoenas could be “viewed as an effort to intimidate officers into help enforcing civil immigration law.”

He also disputed that Denver had failed to comply with initial requests by ICE for information on foreign nationals wanted for deportation, attaching documents that showed law enforcement had responded to 88 requests by ICE between October and December of last year.

Ryan Luby, a public information officer for the City Attorney’s Office, says, “We are indeed abiding by our citizenry’s wishes. No one is going rogue.”

One of the men sought by ICE was from Mexico and had been arrested for sexual assault, another for vehicular homicide and a third for child abuse and strangulation assault. The Honduran man arrested on domestic violence charges. All had been removed from the country previously. Three were released from custody and one was still in custody.

ICE officers rely on help from local law enforcement. Over the budget year that ended Sept. 30, officers arrested about 143,000 people and deported more than 267,000. More than 92,000 of the arrests were of people with criminal convictions.

But immigrant advocates and some lawmakers say ICE is targeting people who have been in the U.S. for decades, who have families and pay taxes — and who should not be their focus.

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)  

Comments (5)
  1. Bob says:

    The laws of the land are all in jeopardy when people elect a Socialist/Communist to Congresses, both State and Federal. Uninformed or brainwashed that have no idea of what this country history is all about. The uninformed only vote for name recognition without knowing who they are. It’s who can get their name out there the most. It may be the persons looks also or their speaking ability, such as Obama and Clinton. Schools, Elementary all the way through college are being taken over by Socialists/Communists who teach only what they believe, not real American History. I t is going to take a long, long time to reverse all this. Maybe a revolution.

  2. Steven Lundgrin says:

    Don’t the Denver public officials and law enforcement take an oath to support and defend the United States and Colorado constitutions? Of course Colorado is not a sanctuary state. Jared Polis said so after a six-times deported illegal immigrant killed a woman.

  3. Harry Callahan SFPD says:

    Maybe Chief Metz can come back and represent illegals…..he’s accepted corrupt Aurora cops who steal 40K and get to keep it and just retire and let black-out drunk cops not get arrested. He’s perfect for anti-ICC

  4. Glenn Rogers says:

    What don’t they understand here that illegal is illegal

  5. Glenn Rogers says:

    Maybe they should start impeaching here all these corrupt officials

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