The Colorado Rapid Response Network on Wednesday claimed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Colorado had targeted three immigrant fathers in five days, all of whom were in the process of dropping their children off at school.
“Immigration agents do not belong anywhere near our schools,” said Tania Chairez, executive director of Convivir Colorado. “ICE’s mere presence scares our communities and traumatizes our children into feeling unsafe in the exact place they need most to feel welcome at.”
The Rapid Response Network, which is a partnership of such pro-immigrant groups as the American Friends Service Committee and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said that the contacts with ICE occurred in southeast Denver, Durango and the Montbello neighborhood in Denver. In the Durango case, both parents were present and asserted their constitutional rights when shown an administrative warrant. Such warrants are not signed by judges and do not allow officers entry into private spaces without consent.
News of the detentions comes after the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed a bill to prevent civil arrest of people at courthouses or while traveling to and from court proceedings. The proposal is intended specifically to address immigrants.
“Increasingly, ICE agents have been arresting undocumented people during court appearances in Colorado. This includes those who are going to testify as a witness to a crime and survivors of domestic violence seeking justice,” wrote the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, on Twitter. “These courthouse raids deter undocumented immigrants from seeking justice through the US criminal justice system.”
ICE on Friday called the allegations "misinformation," saying its officers behave humanely.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with ICE comments.