Posted on May 12, 2005

Tancredo Asks Hickenlooper for Answers

Office of Congressman Tom Tancredo, May 12

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Tom Tancredo expressed strong concern about the Hickenlooper administration’s handling of the recent tragic shootings of Detectives Donald Young and Jack Bishop. The lead suspect in the crime, Raul Garcia-Gomez, is a Mexican national who had been stopped on three prior instances without a U.S. driver’s license or valid insurance.

“It is unconscionable that Mr. Garcia-Gomez had three prior run-ins with the law but was let off scot-free. It would be a tragedy if it took the death of one of Denver’s finest public servants to finally get serious about a criminal,” said Congressman Tancredo.

From details uncovered by the news media, it appears that Mr. Garcia-Gomez’s legal status in the U.S. was not confirmed on any of the three traffic violations. On one traffic stop, Mr. Garcia-Gomez provided only a Mexican driver’s license. Denver’s sanctuary policy prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters, despite federal law which explicitly prohibits such a policy.

“Why wasn’t Immigration and Customs Enforcement contacted? Although more information is needed in this case, we already know Mayor Hickenlooper’s refusal to reverse Denver’s failed and illegal sanctuary policy is dangerous to all Coloradans,” said Congressman Tancredo. Just last month, Denver-area resident Justin Goodman is alleged to have been killed in a hit-and-run by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested for a half-dozen prior driving violations.

Congressman Tancredo noted that there are many unanswered questions in the case. “There are three questions that need to be answered, now:

* How were Mr. Garcia-Gomez’s aliases used and accepted by the police without documentation?

* Why was Mr. Garcia-Gomez given the green light to drive even though he was stopped three times for dangerous driving behavior and provided no legitimate driving credentials?

* Did his employer, the Cherry Cricket, verify his legal status when hiring him?”

The Cherry Cricket is owned in part by Mayor Hickenlooper.

“I send my deepest sympathy to the family of Detective Young. I stand with them in demanding answers.”

Denver Police Department Operations Manual

(3) Undocumented immigrants (includes illegal and “undocumented aliens” as referred to in the Federal Immigration and Naturalization act)

1. The responsibility for enforcement of immigration laws rests with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.). Denver Police officers shall not initiate police actions with the primary objective of discovering the immigration status of a person.

2. 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. In addition, as soon as is practical the commander of the involved officer shall be notified.

3. However, when a suspect believed to be an undocumented immigrant is arrested for other charges, a “Refer to Immigration” charge will be added to the original charges. Sheriff’s Department Personnel will then notify the I.N.S. authorities according to their procedures.

4. The charge “Hold For Immigration” will be lodged against a prisoner only when a warrant has been issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, or an agency thereof, and then only when the warrant is on an immigration matter.

5. Physical evidence pertaining to immigration violations shall be placed in the Property Bureau as evidence when there is no arrest made. A letter detailing the circumstances of the recovery of the property and the property invoice number shall be sent to the commander of the Crimes Against Persons Bureau for disposition.

6. All questions pertaining to the handling of immigration related cases shall be directed to the officer’s supervisor and/or commanding officer. In addition, the commander of the Civil Liability Bureau is available for guidance regarding enforcement and non-enforcement immigration matters.

Contact Mayor John W. Hickenlooper:

Denver City and County Building

1437 Bannock Street

Suite 350

Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 720-865-9000

Fax: 720-865-8787

E-mail: [email protected]