Sunday, July 11, 2004 - Durango's pro-immigrant resolution raises feds' ire - LOCAL NEWS

Durango's pro-immigrant resolution raises feds' ire

By The Associated Press

Durango - This southwestern Colorado city and the federal government are at loggerheads over a City Council resolution telling police not to hassle immigrants.

The resolution says "municipal resources of the city shall not be utilized to identify, apprehend or deport any non-citizen residents on the sole basis of immigration status."

U.S. Attorney John Suthers said the resolution is irresponsible and could hamper law enforcement's ability to apprehend criminals.

Police Capt. Dale Smith said the resolution will not change how police work. "It doesn't prevent us from apprehending or charging people who have committed crimes."

He said immigrants will not be exempted from the routine background checks conducted on people involved in traffic stops, car accidents or domestic-violence cases.

"If we ran his name and found out he was a felony re- entry, we would detain him. This has always been our policy," Smith said.

The resolution specifies that if there is "a conflict between federal or state regulations and the terms of this resolution, such federal or state law or regulations shall control and supersede any conflicting provisions of this resolution."

Several other cities around the nation have passed similar resolutions.


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