New Legislation for Immigration Enforcement

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

State Representative Steve King is fed up, he says Immigration and Customs Enforcement isn't answering his questions about immigration stops and now he's asking for the governor's help in a new bill.

11 News cameras were rolling last week when the State Patrol arrested a man for human trafficking and took nine illegal immigrants into custody.

And again in December when the immigration unit stopped 19 suspected illegals. And 15 last August.

There's no question the 7–month-old State Patrol Immigration Unit is doing its job but where do all of these illegals go?... How big is the problem?...And is it worth $2.3 million in taxpayer money?

That's what State Representative Steve King is trying to find out.

He said, "We do not know the width and depth of the problem if in fact we are not keeping accurate statistics."

King says there's too much red tape when it comes to trying to get information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the agency is not tracking numbers.

"It lacks transparency and accountability," King said.

I.C.E. admits it doesn't keep specific statewide numbers on immigration stops taken over from the Colorado State Patrol, or how many suspected illegals were let go because there were no holding facilities.

"They're caught here and if there's no facilities they're let go," said King.

He says that's the biggest problem; catch and release.

King says if taxpayers are footing the bill for the State Patrol to stop suspected illegal immigrants, they should know about it.

"What I want is the immigration unit to report the numbers to the Governor, the legislature and to the people of Colorado."

Now he's trying to get a new bill passed asking the governor to step in.

He says the bill would make I.C.E. more accountable because if they won't answer his questions, maybe they'll answer to the governor.

The bill was read on the Colorado House of Representatives floor today. We will be tracking it through the legislature.

Click on the link below to see current House of Representatives' bills.


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