Monday, October 18, 2010

Tancredo puts illegal immigration on front burner in Colorado

The surprise decision of Tom Tancredo to run as a third party candidate in Colorado’s gubernatorial election and his surprising (at least to the political establishment) surge in the polls has brought immigration to the forefront of the race. readers are no doubt well aware of Tancredo’s record on immigration. But few people outside of Colorado have heard of his Democratic opponent, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Tancredo just released an ad featuring Marat Kudlis, a legal European immigrant whose son had been killed by illegal alien Francis Hernandez. The father puts the blame on Hickenlooper’s sanctuary city policies:

“An illegal alien crashed into a Baskin Robbins store and killed my 3-year-old son Marten.

“The illegal alien had been arrested 16 times but never turned over to immigration because of the sanctuary city policies that Mayor Hickenlooper supports. I am sending you Marten’s picture, Mr. Mayor. Try to sleep at night knowing your policy contributed to his death.

“My wife and I are legal immigrants. Tom Tancredo is our choice for Governor.”

[Bad Policies Kill People, Tancredo for Governor, YouTube]

Hickenlooper’s campaign responded by claiming that there are no sanctuary policies in Denver:

“This case had nothing to do with John, but it’s these kinds of shameful, false attacks that Tom Tancredo has routinely used to grab headlines…His latest attempt to exploit a horrible tragedy to fill his own political coffers is sad, but not surprising.”

[Tancredo ad blames Hickenlooper’s policies for child’s death, by Karen Crummy Denver Post, October 12, 2010]

VDARE dealt with Hickenlooper’s sanctuary policies back in 2005 when an illegal alien employee of Hickenlooper’s killed a police officer. Denver’s policy is

“Generally, officers will not detain, arrest, or take enforcement action against a person solely because he/she is suspected of being an undocumented immigrant. If enforcement action is deemed necessary under these circumstances, the approval of an on duty supervisor or commander is required.”

Hickenlooper and his apologists claim that that Denver is not a sanctuary city because it is technically permissible for the police to “take enforcement action”. But in practice, this means that the Denver police never look up the legal status of those who are already arrested, even for serious crimes. This was the case with Hernandez.

State Senator Ted Harvey explained how Hickenlooper’s immigration policies work in practice:

“Denver police officers made less than 500 calls to ICE since 2006 out of over 250,000 total arrests, over 15,000 DUI arrests and over 500,000 traffic stops. Over 7,000 referrals were made to ICE by the Denver county jail for individuals already in custody. Hickenlooper consistently lumps the two numbers together—Denver police referrals and jail referrals—thereby misrepresenting the extent of Denver police contacts with ICE… in 2009, Denver police officers made only 105 ‘Refer to Immigration’ notes on arrest reports for 63,803 individuals arrested. That is less than .002% of arrests.”

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