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Colorado Sheriff Deporting Domestic Violence Victims

Colorado Sheriff Deporting Domestic Violence Victims

Despite a state law discouraging the police from turning over domestic violence victims to immigration enforcement, Colorado’s Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is doing just that. The Denver Post reports that the ACLU and Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence were rebuffed earlier this month when they asked Sheriff Lou Vallario to reconsider his department’s policies.

He defended his policies in an interview with the paper, saying:

“I don’t care what other sheriffs do. They can bend over backwards for the ACLU if they want. The only thing I see about the ACLU is that they are un-American,” Vallario said Tuesday.

“These are not victims when they walk into my jail,” he said about those arrested in connection with domestic violence. “They are arrestees. I report arrestees to federal authorities.”

While Colorado does have a 2006 law on the books requiring sheriffs to report suspected illegal immigrants they arrest to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it makes a specific exception for the victims of domestic violence. So Vallario’s policies may be breaking state law.

The ACLU has approached other Colorado counties about this issue. Because of concerns that women will avoid reporting abuse to the police, several of them have changed their policies.

Vallario doesn’t seem to understand how the prospect of deportation might intimidate undocumented victims and discourage them from seeking help, writing in a statement to the press, “If you are a victim of a crime, you should report it and be provided all of the efforts and services available to victims of any crimes. I fully understand the dynamics of (domestic violence) and the associated difficulties with victims reporting their abuse. This is not a singular issue for the illegal immigrant population but an issue of all victims of domestic violence.”

Maybe it’s just me, but somehow, I don’t think that Vallario really “fully understands the dynamics of domestic violence.” That’s why I’ve started a petition to let Vallario know that this isn’t just about the ACLU trying to be politically correct – this policy is risking the lives of women every day it stays in place. Sign today and urge Sheriff Vallario to end this dangerous policy.

Related Stories:

Domestic Abuse Fears Grow in Immigrant Communities

Beaten By A Partner or Deported, Which Would You Choose

Immigration Activists Protest Parental Deportation (Video)

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Photo credit: Mark Sebastian via Flickr

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261 comments

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3:23PM PDT on May 10, 2013

noted

8:38AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

If Sheriff Vallario "sees" that the ACLU is un-American, it's clear he has no understanding of the Bill of Rights whatsoever. That in my opinion makes HIM un-American. God help Garfield County.

4:29AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Haven't you Lib's over done it on victimization? Any women can claim "domestic violence" and she is immediately a victim and considered innocent of any crime she has committed. however, the man who is charged with committing "domestic violence" is guilty as charged without due process of the law. That's why Lib's love the domestic violence act its anti-male.

4:28AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Please respect the female

8:18PM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Shocking.

8:18PM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Shocking.

6:58PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Undocumented workers SHOULD NOT BE HERE. period. if they want to be a part of this nation they need to do it legally. Should we allow victims of domestic violence to steal? or use fake identities to obtain credit cards? or kidnap children? no. because it is ILLEGAL and your relationship status and issues do not change the law. ALL undocumented workers need to either obey our laws or face deportation. We let it slide, and look where we are

4:01AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Wrong, Redgie. I apreciate constructive criticism, and the key word there is "constructive". Nothing you've said has been. Of course a Sheriff, a Police Officer in any department/capacity is supposed to uphold the law, and enforce it. Anything else is abuse of power. However, please explain to me how having prisoners wear pink is against the law or abusing it, or having prisoners actually do some manual labor? Oh, it's far better to just have them sit in a concrete cell 24/7. No wait, that's inhumane and unconstitutional unless each cell as a wide-screen TV and access to the internet, telephone, and memory foam mattress.

7:55AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Diane L,
Since you apparently don't appreciate constructive criticism, other than saying I think facts DO matter, I will set those observations aside.

Yes, you are correct, illegals are taking advantage of the credit, the law entitles them to it. And no one is entitled to it if they have less than $3K of earned income or have no resident children. That is fraud. Unfortunately, we have no factual basis for determining what percentage of claims are fraudulent. So insisting that illegals are defrauding the IRS is the equivalent of saying your new anti-abortion legislation will protect against gender selective abortions, or that 98% of heroin addicts were early milk drinkers. They're all true, but meaningless.

Sheriffs are elected to uphold the law and the Constitution. These guys have decided they ARE the law in their county. Their idea of reasonable cause is that somebody's a stranger, and oh, yeah, they "saw" them spit on the sidewalk.

2:35AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Redgie, it really doesn't matter what the "credit" is for, the fact is, illegals are taking advantage of it and they technically are not entitled to a refund if they haven't worked or earned a cent, especially when they claim children that don't exist.

Personally, I happen to agree with the Sheriff in Arizona. So WHAT if he embarrasses inmates in his jail by having them wear PINK and OMG, clean up places that the taxpayers otherwise would be paying for? He doesn't want his jurisdiction overrun with illegals. What's the problem with that? He asks suspected criminals for I.D. I have no problem with that one, either.

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