Denver DA Beth McCann joins dozens of officials in immigration-related lawsuit against Justice Department

The brief also warns that the policy could result in increased crime against undocumented immigrants and would discourage them from cooperating as witnesses in criminal investigations.

Aurora Police Chief Nicholas Metz (left) listens as Denver District Attorney Beth McCann speaks at a community meeting about a fatal police shootout in Montbello. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver District Attorney Beth McCann is among 33 current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officials around the country pushing back against the U.S. Department of Justice’s move to give preferential treatment in awarding grants to cities that pledge to help the feds with immigration enforcement.

The group submitted a brief Monday in support of a lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice.

Last year, the Department of Justice began asking applicants for Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants to sign a “Certification of Illegal Immigration Cooperation.” It includes a pledge to give federal immigration agents unlimited access to jails and to notify the Department of Homeland Security as soon as possible before releasing an undocumented immigrant from custody.

“These inducements would dangerously impact local communities, by requiring jurisdictions to prioritize civil immigration enforcement over public safety or else lose funding for important public safety and community initiatives,” the brief says. “These requirements would cause community members to distrust the police and justice system officials and thereby result in a decrease in cooperation, hindering the ability of local law enforcement and local prosecutors to keep their communities safe. The conditions would also drain scarce resources that would otherwise be used to enhance public safety, depriving local law enforcement and justice system leaders of the discretion necessary to determine how best to protect their communities.”

The brief also warns that the policy could result in increased crime against undocumented immigrants and would discourage them from cooperating as witnesses in criminal investigations.

Denver is also part of a separate lawsuit filed by Chicago and dozens of other cities over the same issue.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean is the assistant editor and culture reporter for Denverite. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes bourbon straight and is happy that Kanye seems happy. She dreams of someday holding the title of Nightlife Mayor. Find her at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.