Compromise on ICE bill wins over a Denver City Council member

Councilman Kevin Flynn voted against the first version of a bill to limit Denver’s cooperation with immigration authorities when it was at committee, but on Monday night, he said changes to the bill allow him to vote yes.

Denver City Councilman Kevin Flynn at a meeting. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Councilman Kevin Flynn voted against the first version of a bill to limit Denver’s cooperation with immigration authorities when it was at committee, but on Monday night, he said changes to the bill allow him to vote yes.

The Denver City Council moved forward the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act with no opposition. A one-hour public hearing is scheduled for next Monday, Aug. 28, along with a final vote on the bill.

The bill would take standard practice for Denver law enforcement agencies — that they do not enforce federal immigration law and don’t share any more information than required by law with federal immigration agents — and give it force of law.

The big change from the original version is that Denver sheriff’s deputies would still be able to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when jail inmates who are also suspected of immigration violations are due to be released.

Mayor Michael Hancock had also balked at ending the practice of notifications, and his opposition helped bring about the compromise bill announced last week and voted on by council Monday.

Flynn said the changes made the bill “acceptable,” and he intends to vote yes next week as well.

Immigrant advocates are not opposing the compromise because the bill language includes requirements to advise immigrants of their rights and to track the types of crimes that lead ICE to ask for notification and what ICE does with that information.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.