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Other counties to join DougCo immigration lawsuit, as county says "no tangible evidence" of migrants

Other counties to join DougCo immigration lawsuit, as county says "no tangible evidence" of migrants
Other counties to join DougCo immigration lawsuit, as county says "no tangible evidence" of migrants 02:32

Douglas County Commissioners and the Sheriff's Office are suing the state of Colorado and Gov. Jared Polis over immigration laws. 

The move comes after the county approved an ordinance banning unplanned bus drop-offs.

While we know more than 40,000 migrants have arrived in Denver in the last year and a half, Douglas County says it has no tangible evidence of any migrants in its community.

It's leading some residents to question the lawsuit.

"It just kinda struck me as odd because I didn't know there was a migrant problem in Douglas County," said Lynne Clements, a Douglas County resident.

"Federal policies on the southern border have resulted in an unlimited stream of illegal immigrants into our communities," said Douglas County Commissioner George Teal, during the announcement.

On Monday, Douglas and El Paso Counties announced a lawsuit against the state, challenging two laws,  HB19-1124 and HB23-1100, that limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.


"We see it as the duty of the county to push back against these state laws," said Teal.

Commissioners say the lawsuit is preemptive and aims to preserve safety and quality of life in the county.

"In Douglas County, we are not going to be cutting services to our residents, telling kids that they can't come to our rec centers, and failing to do the things the citizens expect us to do on a regular basis to serve those that are coming here through improper channels," said Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon.

Douglas County has not shared how much the lawsuit will cost taxpayers.

"I just don't want my tax dollars spent on a lawsuit that is not really correlating with anything I'm seeing going on in my county at the moment," said Clements.

The county's action inspired Clements to begin donating to the Rose Community Foundation's Newcomer's Fund.

"I just found the rhetoric a little demeaning, calling a lot of the migrants who I feel are more refugees and asylum seekers to be referred to as illegal aliens. Many in the community were referring to them as criminals," said Clements.

Clements fears the lawsuit sends the wrong message about Douglas County and he feels the county's money would be better spent helping neighboring communities aid the surge of migrants.

"We're the eighth richest county in the United States of America. I feel we have a moral obligation to be welcoming to people who may have come from a country that we have no idea about living in Douglas County," said Clements.

Douglas County says three other Colorado counties are in the process of joining the lawsuit, and others have expressed interest.

Gov. Polis' office says it won't comment on pending litigation.

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