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Championing Facts Over Fear: Project Protect Food Systems Workers’ Statement on Non-Sanctuary Resolutions

The non-sanctuary policies advanced by Mesa County, Garfield County, and Delta County encourage harassment of immigrant communities across the Western Slope. Although the resolutions do not make any actual changes, the political theater sends a chilling message that immigrants are not welcome. Rather than debating these resolutions and declaring an inability to respond appropriately, counties should be improving infrastructure and organizing resources to address human needs in their communities.

Before this recent trend of political grandstanding, “sanctuary policies” generally focused on restricting the ability of police officers to collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The non-sanctuary resolutions advanced by some municipalities do not seek to change the involvement of local police forces in immigration enforcement, which is now governed by state law. Instead, these resolutions stoke fears about risks to “public health and safety”, unfounded claims that sanctuary policies lead to an increase in crime, and the “cascading impacts of migrant relocations from Denver.” Adopting such resolutions based on fear, rather than facts, will foster confusion and distrust between Spanish-speaking communities and local governments.

As advocates for Colorado’s agricultural workers and families, we condemn non-sanctuary policies. These policies will make life more difficult for the immigrant community members who have lived and worked in the Western Slope for years. The resolutions do not provide clear guidance for nonprofit organizations and religious groups that form the existing safety net for immigrants who are already excluded from public benefits. Project Protect Food Systems Workers stands against non-sanctuary policies that undermine our shared values and harm our communities. We encourage county commissioners and local government leaders to work together with service organizations to promote policies that reflect compassion, fairness, and the well-being of all residents.


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