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DENVER, CO The Colorado legislature is currently considering a bill that would prohibit local and state governments from entering into immigration detention agreements, including through private entities, and would require them to terminate any existing agreements. The bill has already passed the House on its third reading and is now being considered by the Senate Judiciary committee. If it passes and is signed by the governor, it will become law on January 1, 2024.
The Teller County Sheriff’s Office is the only law enforcement agency in Colorado that currently has a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain people living in the country illegally. Sheriff Jason Mikesell testified against the bill, stating that it would put detainees at risk and send them to places that may deliver inadequate care.
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Bill sponsor Rep. Naquetta Ricks, along with other sponsors, introduced the bill to limit local cooperation with immigration authorities and ensure that Colorado respects undocumented individuals. Colorado already has a 2019 law that restricts local cooperation with immigration authorities, but a judge recently ruled that Teller County still has the legal authority to enter into such agreements.
Overall, the bill seeks to restrict local cooperation with federal immigration detention and promote respect for undocumented individuals in Colorado.