A July 28 Associated Press item listing the immigration positions of gubernatorial candidates Bill Ritter (D) and Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-Arvada) misleadingly stated that, if elected governor, Beauprez would, in the AP's words, "[b]ar cities from offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants." The item did not note that a Colorado statute enacted May 1 already explicitly bars so-called "sanctuary" policies.
A July 28 Associated Press item listing the immigration positions of gubernatorial candidates Bill Ritter (D) and Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-Arvada) misleadingly stated that, if elected governor, Beauprez would, in the AP's words, "[b]ar cities from offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants." The item did not note that a Colorado statute enacted May 1 already explicitly bars so-called "sanctuary" policies, which the statute defines as "local government ordinances or policies that prohibit local officials, including peace officers, from communicating or cooperating with federal officials with regard to the immigration status of any person within the state." Moreover, the Rocky Mountain News has reported that according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman, no known city in Colorado "has a policy against calling ICE."
Versions of the AP item appeared with an AP article by reporter Stephen K. Paulson on the websites of The Pueblo Chieftain and the Summit Daily News. The item also appeared on the website of The Gazette of Colorado Springs.
The AP item echoed Beauprez's campaign website, which states: "We must end this business of 'sanctuary cities.' "
In fact, a May 5 AP item noted that Senate Bill 90 "[b]an[s] sanctuary cities." The Denver Post explained on May 5 that "[t]he law prohibits any local government from approving ordinances or initiatives that limit police or government employees from cooperating with federal immigration officials."
As Colorado Media Matters has noted, the Rocky Mountain News reported on June 11 that a News investigation "found that some local law-enforcement officials indeed fail to turn in immigrants, including some criminals they know are here illegally. But it has nothing to do with any sanctuary policy." According to the News, local officials "say they know ICE lacks the people or places to deal with them, a message ICE officials have delivered personally. And local jails are too full to hold them while deportation orders are processed." The News article also quoted Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman for Colorado, saying: "There aren't any cities in Colorado that refuse to call us. ... I know of no Colorado city that has a policy against calling ICE."
According to the News, "Denver sends ICE the names of jailed foreign-born inmates. So do other counties in Colorado."
According to its website, ICE "is the largest investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agency was created after 9-11 by combining the law enforcement arms of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the former U.S. Customs Service, to more effectively enforce our immigration and customs laws and to protect the United States against terrorist attacks."
From the July 28 AP item, "Candidate positions on illegal immigration":
REPUBLICAN BOB BEAUPREZ
Bar cities from offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants.
Support a new statewide computer system that would allow employers to check the status of workers, or a federal database that works.
Oppose taxpayer funded services to illegal immigrants beyond what federal law requires.
Empower local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws.
Demand the federal government carry out its responsibilities to enforce immigration laws.
Declare that amnesty is not an acceptable outcome of immigration reform.