DENVER – Several local officials on Friday denounced the reported Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids coming to Denver and other cities this weekend.
The Denver mayor's office, in a statement, said the city has not received any notice of an ICE raid, but that the city "stands with our immigrant and refugee families" and that Denver officials "do not support family separation or the round-up of immigrant families to spread fear in our community."
Denver is aware of recent reports that immigration enforcement would increase in the coming days, but Denver Police and the City of Denver would never receive advance notice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity.
— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) June 21, 2019
In a statement provided by his director of communications, Hancock also said Denver is an inclusive, compassionate and welcoming city and, "the threats of this White House, which are only a distraction from its failures, will never weaken our resolve.”
CNN and The Miami Herald reported Friday that Denver was among the 10 cities reportedly being targeted by ICE this weekend. CNN's report said the ICE raids this weekend would target about 2,000 people who had received final orders of removal by immigration court judges.
The Justice Department has deemed Denver a "sanctuary city," a label applied to cities that they do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
An ICE spokesman declined to offer any details about the reported raids, citing the safety of agents.
"As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security," the spokesman said.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-CO, said in a statement that ICE confirmed it would be "conducting operations against immigrants" but declined to give further details.
"What this administration is doing to these immigrant families is shameful," DeGette said in the statement. "Instilling fear in the hearts of families across the country by announcing these nationwide raids, while continuing to lock up kids at the border, is not who we are as a country. The people who are fleeing to this country are often doing so out of desperation. We should be doing everything we can to help them, not tearing families apart."
U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff, a former Colorado House Speaker, said officials "need to enact comprehensive immigration reform and stop Trump from terrorizing immigrant families and asylum seekers."
Jason Crow, the Democrat who represents Colorado's 6th Congressional District, said the reported raids are nothing but a political ploy.
"The Administration’s fear-mongering and disregard for the sanctity of family continues," Crow said in a statement sent to Denver7. "As we struggle with the humanitarian crisis at the border, mistreatment of migrant children, and problems at the Aurora detention center, we should all see this for what it is: a political ploy that does nothing to fix our broken immigration system.”
While news broke of the reported raids happening in Denver, Aurora police Chief Nick Metz issue a statement in response to the "great deal of attention in the news about immigration."
Metz emphasized that Aurora police officers do not have the authority to detain a person based on their immigration status, nor can they investigate or enforce federal immigration laws.
"It is not our practice to report to other agencies who we speak with or what their immigration status is for being in this country or in our city," Metz said.