DENVER (AP) – Civil rights groups are denouncing Gov. Bill Ritter’s decision Tuesday to approve the use of a federal program that identifies illegal immigrants through the fingerprints of every person booked into jail.
Opponents are urging the Democrat with a week left in office to reconsider, saying the Secure Communities program will lead to unjust deportations and racial profiling.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado says he’s “incredibly disappointed” with Ritter’s decision. He calls the system “highly flawed,” saying the initiative will increase crime because immigrant victims will be afraid to cooperate with police.
Ritter says Colorado will participate with some modifications, including requiring quarterly reports.
Incoming Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper says as long as the program is implemented properly, “communities will be safer.”