NOVEMBER 22, 2005
It’s ironic that residents of a crime-infested city, long battling gang activity and methamphetamine distribution, strongly object to a resource that can help clean up where they live and in fact have labeled the idea racist.
It is happening in Greeley Colorado, a small city north of Denver with a population of about 77,000 and a square mile area of 30 miles.
At the request of the Weld County District Attorney, the county commission has approved opening an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office that would investigate and capture illegal immigrants who have committed major crimes (Denver Post). ICE already has holds on 34 of the 500 inmates in the Weld County jail and more than 73% of that group has been in jail at least once before. One guy has been in jail 23 previous times and another had been arrested on a count of driving under the influence of alcohol, was later released on bond, then was arrested for vehicular homicide.
Still, a group of residents and Latino rights advocates have called opening an ICE office in Greeley offensive because they claim that it discriminates against all Latinos, not just illegal aliens. The local paper, The Greeley Tribune, went so far as to say in an editorial that opening an ICE office is appalling and doing so indicates that racism is thriving in Weld.
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