Posted on April 18, 2024

Douglas County Sues Colorado, Claims Recent Immigration Laws Are Unconstitutional

Joe Mueller, Center Square, April 16, 2024

Douglas County officials filed a lawsuit against Colorado and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to challenge the constitutionality of two immigration laws.

In a 13-page petition filed in Denver District Court, the officials claim two state laws prohibit law enforcement from arresting and detaining illegal immigrants, prohibit state judicial officials from sharing information with federal immigration officials and prohibit local governments from entering into agreements with the federal government for immigration enforcement.


The lawsuit challenges House Bills 19-1124 and 23-1100 as violating the intergovernmental relationships provision of the Colorado Constitution. The provision prohibits laws stopping local governments from cooperating or contracting with the federal government.

“We cooperate with our federal partners,” Douglas County Undersheriff David Walcher said during a press conference on Monday. “Things like this tell us we can’t even cooperate with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], a federal law enforcement agency. That is absolutely ridiculous.”


The lawsuit is the seventh immigration action taken by the county since last October. Previous steps include a resolution declaring that Douglas County is not a sanctuary jurisdiction, and a letter to Democratic Denver Mayor Mike Johnston requesting the repeal of two sanctuary laws. The county also passed an emergency ordinance to prohibit the driver of a commercial vehicle from stopping and unloading passengers in unincorporated Douglas County other than at documented locations.