Six Colorado counties are suing the state in an attempt to force the Democratic Governor to allow cops to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Officials in Elbert, Garfield, Mesa, and Rio Blanco counties have joined a suit originally filed by Douglas and El Paso counties that challenges two Colorado immigration laws, which they claim have stemmed their ability to effectively confront the flood of migrants in their state.

Colorado has faced the crisis at the southern border head on, as more than 40,000 illegal migrants have found their way into the Rocky Mountain state, many via bus from the border. It has become a de facto Sanctuary City and cops say crime is up.

The counties suing, which authorities say collectively represent some 25 percent of the state’s population, are arguing that Democratic Governor Jared Polis has instated several ‘unconstitutional immigration laws.’

Six counties, which represent 25 percent of the state's population, are suing Colorado and its Democratic leadership over two laws they believe are preventing law enforcement from effectively dealing with the migrant crisis

Six counties, which represent 25 percent of the state’s population, are suing Colorado and its Democratic leadership over two laws they believe are preventing law enforcement from effectively dealing with the migrant crisis

In the last 18-months or so, Colorado has seen 40,000 illegal migrants deposited in Denver, which behaves like a sanctuary city, despite not technically being one

In the last 18-months or so, Colorado has seen 40,000 illegal migrants deposited in Denver, which behaves like a sanctuary city, despite not technically being one

The suit, initially filed on April 15, specifically challenges two laws, the first of which prohibits law enforcement officers from detaining individuals based on a civil immigration detainer, i.e., an official note of suspicion that a person may be in the country illegally, or have violated other civil immigration law.

The second law, prohibits employees of the state from making arrangements with ICE to rent bed space, potentially to hold detained illegal migrants.

Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly said of the suit: ‘The most critical role of government is to protect its citizens. I believe this action is absolutely necessary to allow law enforcement to work with our federal partners to help keep all of Colorado safe.’

Weekly has also blamed the migrant crisis for increased crime throughout the state.

‘In 2023, our organization had a violent ransom kidnapping in Highlands Ranch that involved Venezuelan migrants who were being housed in the city of Denver. Our patrol personnel are coming into contact with undocumented migrants on traffic contacts,’ he told Colorado Newsline

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Poor federal border policy coupled with bad state law have ‘resulted in an unlimited string of illegal immigrants into our communities,’ agreed Douglas County Commissioner George Teal.

Now, Sheriffs Tim Norton of Elbert County, Todd Rowell of Mesa County, Lou Vallario of Garfield County, and Anthony Mazzalo of Rio Blanco County, have endorsed the suit, which was also previously joined by El Paso County, whose sheriff is Joseph Roybal.

In October, Douglas County passed a resolution firmly declaring itself not a sanctuary jurisdiction.

Denver, on the other hand, behaves as a sanctuary area, which is one explanation for the some 40,000 migrants who have arrived there in the last year or so.

Until recently, Denver was not a favored gateway for migrants who recently crossed the southern border. Not, certainly, in the same way that famed sanctuary areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have become hubs for illegal immigrants.

Sheriff Darren Weekly of Douglas County has led the charge on the lawsuit, which was filed in mid-April and has since been joined by a handful of conservative counties

Sheriff Darren Weekly of Douglas County has led the charge on the lawsuit, which was filed in mid-April and has since been joined by a handful of conservative counties

Sheriff Lou Vallario of Garfield County

Sheriff Todd Rowel of Mesa County

Some of the sheriffs, and other county officials, blame the ongoing migrant crisis for some of the especially disturbing crime they’ve seen across the state in recent months

Sheriff Tim Norton of Elbert County (pictured). In early May, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Elbert, and Garfield counties joined the lawsuit, which challenges the state and its Governor, Democrat Jared Polis

Sheriff Tim Norton of Elbert County (pictured). In early May, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Elbert, and Garfield counties joined the lawsuit, which challenges the state and its Governor, Democrat Jared Polis

Sheriff Joseph Roybal of El Paso County

Sheriff Anthony Mazzola of Rio Blanco County

Texas Governor Greg Abbott identified Denver as a relatively destination to bus tens of thousands of migrants who had crossed over his border with Mexico

Douglas County Commissioner George Teal (pictured) has said that poor federal border policy coupled with bad state law have 'resulted in an unlimited string of illegal immigrants into our communities'

Douglas County Commissioner George Teal (pictured) has said that poor federal border policy coupled with bad state law have ‘resulted in an unlimited string of illegal immigrants into our communities’

However, in the last 18 months or so, Denver has been forced to absorb more than 40,000 migrants at an incredible cost to taxpayers of $40million.

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Officials, including those who signed on to the lawsuit, speculate that the surge in migrants coming from the border to their state has much to do with Denver’s relatively close proximity (600 miles) from the border, and its reputation for welcoming illegal migrants.

Though Denver is technically not a sanctuary city, and Governor Polis will not go so far as to call it one, the city and state governments have, since at least 2017, passed a number of laws that prevent local authorities from working with ICE in ways that effectively make it a safe haven for those flooding across the border.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whose busing campaign earned him a spot on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list, identified Denver about two years ago as a spot he could easily shuttle some of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who’ve filtered into his state.

Since this time last year, Abbott has bused close to 20,000 migrants to Denver alone, and close to 120,000 to so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ across the nation.

Sanctuary City is a designation assumed by a municipality that has adopted policies to discourage local authorities from reporting a person’s immigration status to federal authorities, and now, in many cases, working with those federal authorities on any immigration-related issue.

Officials in their various landing spots are near-universally of the position that border-crossers who arrive are permitted to remain in their new location pending the outcome of their immigration case, which will likely take years and years.

But, things have become so dire in Denver that the city shipped staffers to Texas last month to inform migrants that there are now very few resources available for them in the state’s capital.

Since last year, Denver has paid to assist more than 8,000 migrants with housing. But now, the money’s run out and migrants, most of whom do not have work permits, are back on the street and trying to figure out what’s next.

Governor Jared Polis signed both laws the counties are suing over into law. Earlier this year, he appealed to Washington to pass a comprehensive immigration package that would send more money to states like his, struggling to absorb the illegal migrants being sent their way

Governor Jared Polis signed both laws the counties are suing over into law. Earlier this year, he appealed to Washington to pass a comprehensive immigration package that would send more money to states like his, struggling to absorb the illegal migrants being sent their way

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Since this time last year, Abbott has bused close to 20,000 migrants to Denver alone, and close to 120,000 to so-called 'sanctuary cities' across the nation

Since this time last year, Abbott has bused close to 20,000 migrants to Denver alone, and close to 120,000 to so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ across the nation

Denver has run out of taxpayer and other dollars to pay for housing and benefits for the migrants, many of whom are form Venezuela and arrived without a network of friends of family members in the country

Denver has run out of taxpayer and other dollars to pay for housing and benefits for the migrants, many of whom are form Venezuela and arrived without a network of friends of family members in the country

Denver's mayor announced earlier this year that he was going to need to implement a $45million budget cut across city departments in order to pay for the migrants

Denver’s mayor announced earlier this year that he was going to need to implement a $45million budget cut across city departments in order to pay for the migrants

Governor Polis, who signed both laws being challenged by the suit, has called on Congress and the White House to pass a border security deal that includes sending funding states like Colorado that are struggling to respond to the influx of migrants.

Several months ago, ahead of a trip to Washington, DC to advocate for the deal, Polis said: ‘We need Congress to take action to secure our border and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

‘States can’t do this alone. It’s time to put politics aside and deliver the real solutions and support that states like Colorado, and many others, need.

‘Without seriously securing the border, providing interior states relief and real reform the challenges facing states and localities will only grow.’

When Congress subsequently rejected the immigration deal in February, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced that he would need to cut $45million from other departments in order to address the cost of the migrants arriving.

In March, Johnston said his city needs to find a way to scale back the services made available for the fresh-off-the-bus migrants. Since then, the city has been scaling back, by thousands, the number of migrants it is housing as they wait for their asylum applications and work authorizations to be processed.

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