AURORA, Colo. -- Speaking in unison, police in two of Colorado's largest cities firmly declined to change immigration policy to help enforce President-elect Donald Trump's desired immigration policies.
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz announced Tuesday, following Denver Police Department's announcement on Monday, that the department would not change its policies on immigration.
Currently, the cities practice non-enforcement, meaning officers will not enforce, investigate or detain people based on immigration status.
"Since the election, many questions have been raised about Aurora Police Department's current non-enforcement policy on immigration," Metz said in a statement. "Specifically, people are asking if we intend to change our policy. The simple answer is: No."
Metz said the current policy is based on public safety, and that will remain the key goal upon which the department focuses. Aurora Police say they want all people living in Aurora to feel safe when reporting emergencies and working with police.
"The city's responsibility is to provide services to all residents, enforce local laws and build strong community partnerships," Metz said.
Metz's statements echoed Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman's announcement on Monday, after Trump pledged to deport as many as 3 million illegal aliens.
"Immigration enforcement is handled at the federal level, not by local law enforcement," Schepman said. "The Denver Police Department has not participated in those enforcement efforts in the past and will not be involved in the future."
The two police departments reject claims on Trump's website that when in office, Trump will work with local, state and federal law enforcement to "move criminal aliens out."
Current federal policy, which is subject to change, highlights three sets of illegal aliens who should be targeted by federal law enforcement.
- Aliens engaged in or suspected of terrorism or espionage, or who otherwise pose a danger to national security;
- Aliens apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States; aliens convicted of an offense for which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang, or aliens not younger than 16 years of age who intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further the illegal activity of the gang; aliens convicted of an offense classified as a felony in the convicting jurisdiction, other than a state or local offense for which an essential element was the alien's immigration status; and
- Aliens convicted of an "aggravated felony.”