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Colorado county sues state government over sanctuary immigration policies: ‘Quality of life comes first’

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A county in Colorado is suing its own state over sanctuary immigration policies, according to a new filing.

Douglas County filed a lawsuit on Monday morning against Governor Jared Polis and the Centennial State, in reference to Colorado House bills 19-1124 and 23-1100. The state is currently seeking the right to comply with the federal government on immigration matters, which the bills prohibit.

Specifically, the bills forbid Colorado police from arresting and detaining undocumented immigrants based on immigration status. It also prevents state judges from exchanging information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Local Colorado governments are also prohibited from entering into agreements with the federal government on matters related to immigration enforcement under the bills. 

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Douglas County officials standing at press conference

Douglas County officials sued the state of Colorado on Monday over its immigration policies. (Douglas County Colorado via Youtube)

In a press conference on Monday, Douglas County Board of County Commissioners Chairman George Teal said that the laws are “a violation of several tenets of the Colorado State Constitution.”

“It is our intent to bring suit specifically to address the illegal immigration crisis now present in this country,” Teal added. “Federal policies along the southern border have resulted in an unlimited stream of illegal immigrants into our communities.”

The chairman added that the board believes that filing the lawsuit is part of their civic duties.

“We see it as the duty of the county to push back against the state laws that prohibit us from working with federal authorities to keep Douglas County and our communities safe,” he continued. “That is the purpose of this lawsuit, and we do believe we will have victory.”

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Colorado state flag in sunlight

A Colorado state flag in Pueblo, Colorado, US, on Monday, July 24, 2023.  (Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

County Commissioner Abe Laydon added that he “recognize[d] the plight of those that are seeking refuge and asylum here,” while supporting the filing of the lawsuit.

“Douglas County is a place where quality of life comes first, and we want to prioritize the rights of those who are legally here first,” he explained.

“We heard many months ago that 40,000 Venezuelan migrants were being bussed to Denver from Texas at a cost of about $120 million, to the City and County of Denver and Douglas County… We are not going to be cutting services to our residents.”

Other similar lawsuits have been filed in the past five years. In 2018, Huntington Beach’s city council voted 6-1 to sue the state of California over an immigration-related law signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown. An Orange County court ruled in favor of the city.

Migrants filling out paperwork in Denver

A volunteer attorney works with Venezuelan migrants to help them begin the work permitting process at a local hotel in Denver, Colorado on February 5, 2024.  (Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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Fox News reached out to Governor Polis for a statement, but his office declined to comment.

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