CC Students Involved in Research About How ICE Skirts Sanctuary Laws

Two Colorado College students — Mazlyn Freier ’23 and Ramona Salgado ’24 — conducted research that revealed that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has used data brokers like LexisNexis in Colorado to skirt sanctuary city laws. This research was featured in a report, and was independently verified and published in an article in The Guardian.

Over the last decade, a growing number of American cities and states have restricted the information local law enforcement departments can exchange with immigration authorities. According to the Guardian article, ICE has tapped a network of private technology companies to skirt such sanctuary policies, facilitating access to real-time information about incarcerations and jail bookings, which enables them to pick up immigrants targeted for deportation.

The documents featured in the report were obtained by a group of immigrant advocacy groups including Mijente, ACLU of Colorado, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and American Friends Service Committee. The Denver Post and “Democracy Now” have also reported on information covered by the report.

The students also presented their findings at a national webinar “{ICEOut} Sabotaging Sanctuary in Colorado,” sponsored by the organization Mijente, which policy makers and activists attended.

Freier’s and Salgado’s work on the report evolved out of their participation in the CC Sociology Summer Immigration Institute, now in its fifth year. According to the institute’s program director, Sociology Professor Eric Popkin, both Freier and Salgado, who are sociology students at CC, participated last summer in the program where they created a model for this work and then began to apply to Colorado context.  The non-credit summer intensive institute offers students an opportunity to engage in activist and/or advocacy work that aims to “confront escalating surveillance and criminalization of BIPOC communities (including the immigrant detention-deportation pipeline) by collaborating directly with community- based organizations.”

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