Gov. Jared Polis issued a directive this week to his departments and state agencies barring them from sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for civil enforcement.
Before the coronavirus public health crisis took hold in the state, Sen. Julie Gonzales was working with the Meyer Law Office on a bill that would prevent ICE from using state databases such as from the Department of Motor Vehicles to track immigrants. It took a backseat as lawmakers focused on coronavirus response and budget cuts.
But the concern about ICE’s use of state information to deport immigrants is more heightened at a time when people are trying to access assistance during a pandemic and economic shutdowns, so the advocates have been working with Polis to find another way to extend protections.
“There’s a lot of anxiety people are facing,” Gonzales, a Denver Democrat, said earlier this month.
The guidance calls for state agencies not to request information about a person’s immigration status or release it — except as required by state or federal law, for a legitimate law enforcement purpose or as authorized by the governor. That includes not providing it solely for civil federal immigration enforcement. It also lays out requirements for keeping a written request log and providing quarterly reports. Agencies have 30 days from Wednesday to adopt the policies.