Posted on May 20, 2005

Jailer Pokes Hole in City’s Claim

Lou Kilzer, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), May 19, 2005

The head of Denver jails says his department does not routinely tell federal immigration authorities which of its inmates are immigrants.

Director of Corrections Fred Oliva said that of the 270-plus Mexican nationals who were in custody Monday, fewer than 40 were flagged for immigration holds — and then only because they were already in a federal computer. The list does not include incarcerated immigrants from other nations.

Prisoners who self-report they were born in other countries are not asked if they are in the United States illegally, he said.

The procedure seems to be at odds with written Denver policy, which says that when a person is arrested and is ‘believed to be an undocumented immigrant . . . sheriff’s department personnel will then notify the INS authorities according to their procedures.’

It could also be at odds with what the sheriff’s department said this week.

Then, a department spokesman said that potential illegal immigrants are reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.