Increased ICE presence at schools, courthouses, churches, and hospitals foments fear and deters immigrants from receiving an education, reporting domestic abuse and other crimes, and seeking social services
Washington, D.C. – As the Trump Administration plans to target immigrant communities with widespread, indiscriminate raids starting on Sunday, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and a group of senators in introducing legislation to block immigration enforcement actions at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and religious institutions without prior approval and exigent circumstances. The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act codifies the Department of Homeland Security’s existing policies and expands on those policies to ensure that immigrants are able to access education, criminal justice, and social services without fear of deportation.
“With the Trump Administration planning raids targeting thousands of immigrant families in major cities across the U.S., including Denver, it’s important we protect sensitive spaces, such as schools and hospitals, from these indiscriminate and cruel tactics,” said Bennet.
The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act requires that, except in special circumstances, ICE agents receive prior approval from a supervisor when there are exigent circumstances before engaging in enforcement actions at sensitive locations, such as: schools, hospitals and health clinics, places of worship, organizations assisting crime victims, and organizations that provide services to children, pregnant women, victims of crime or abuse, or individuals with mental or physical disabilities. The legislation also requires that ICE agents receive annual training and report annually regarding enforcement actions in these locations.
This bill codifies and expands upon rules already in place at ICE, which would provide policy consistency across enforcement agencies and administrations over time, giving immigrant communities certainty that their rights will be respected.
The bill is also supported by more than 300 national, state, and local organizations.
In addition to Bennet, the legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Patty Murray (D-WA).