Chief: Avon cops want to help illegal immigrants |

Chief: Avon cops want to help illegal immigrants

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” Police have toughened their immigration policy because police want to prevent illegal aliens who have been arrested from committing more crimes.

In the past, when an illegal immigrant was arrested for breaking Colorado law, officers would leave it up to jail authorities to report illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak said.

Now Avon police report all suspected illegal immigrants directly to Immigrations and Customs, Kozak said.

During a raid in Avon last week, police did not intend to target illegal immigrants in general, just those who had broken laws or mislead police during criminal investigations, Kozak said.

“The Avon Police Department recognizes and values the diversity of the community it serves and its role to protect all community members,” Kozak said in a statement. “Community members should not hesitate to request police services because of their immigration status.”

Police will not ask people’s immigration status if they are a victim of or a witness to a crime, Kozak said.

He points out that Avon police worked with illegal immigrants when a resident, Hilda Vargas, reported that her two kids were kidnapped in 2006. The kids actually had gone to Honduras to live with their grandmother.

“We didn’t care about immigration status,” Kozak said. “We just cared about those kids.”

But if an illegal immigrant breaks laws, helps a criminal or misleads police during an investigation, then police will contact Immigrations and Customs for help to arrest those people, Kozak said.

“We must do whatever we can to assure that our businesses and citizens are protected,” Kozak said.

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