Colorado Democrats vote against stopgap spending bill with no long-term DACA, CHIP fixes

DENVER – Congress voted Thursday to pass a continuing spending bill that will fund the federal government through Jan. 19 when it is signed by President Trump, but all of Colorado’s Democratic delegation voted against the measure, saying Congress should stay and extend programs for young immigrants and children’s health insurance before going home for the holidays.

In the House, Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted against another funding extension, while Sen. Michael Bennet made the same choice in the Senate. All four House Republicans and Sen. Cory Gardner voted in favor of the temporary package. Continue reading

Flake says bipartisan DACA talks, which include Colorado’s senators, to Senate floor in January

DENVER – The bipartisan talks to get DACA extended in Congress before March, some of which include involvement from both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, will be brought to the Senate floor in January, Sen. Jeff Flake says he was told by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Flake made the announcement Wednesday after the Senate and House passed a sweeping tax cut package.

“I am also pleased that the Majority Leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January,” Flake said Wednesday, adding that he was happy the GOP tax bill lowers the corporate tax rate.

Denver7 first reported earlier this month that Flake, an Arizona Republican who isn’t seeking re-election, was working with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to put together a DACA deal that would include the Dream Act and some border security measures. The team had initially sought to have a deal by the year’s end, but that now appears unlikely. Continue reading

ACLU seeking information from ICE on Colorado man’s in-custody death

DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is asking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for more information and records relating to the in-custody death of an Iranian man at the private Aurora detention facility.

Kamyar Samimi, 64, was arrested by ICE agents in Denver on Nov. 17—more than 12 years after he was convicted of cocaine possession in Arapahoe County.

ICE said Samimi “fell ill” on Dec. 2, that emergency responders came to the GEO Group-operated detention center and started performing CPR, and that Samimi later died after being taken to an area hospital. Continue reading

Gang of Five? Bipartisan group of senators working to extend DACA before year’s end

DENVER – One of several measures under discussion to restore protections for Dreamers is being put together by a bipartisan group of senators, including several from the “Gang of Eight,” who want to have DACA restored before the end of the year, sources tell Denver7.

The new discussion involves pairing the Dream Act with some border security measures in an attempt to pass a bipartisan solution for the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, three Senate aides told Denver7 in interviews this week. Continue reading

ICE removals up 145% in Colorado and Wyoming in 2017 fiscal year, arrests up 20%

DENVER – Colorado and Wyoming saw a major uptick in the number of people arrested and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the first year of the Trump administration, according to new numbers released by the agency Tuesday.

ICE said that in Colorado and Wyoming, 2,746 people were arrested and 2,535 were removed from the U.S. in the 2017 fiscal year, which ran from Oct. 1 of last year through Sept. 30 of this year.

The 2017 numbers show an increase of 145 percent in the number of removals from the area when compared to the 2016 fiscal year, when 1,033 people were removed. Arrests were up 20 percent over the same period, from 2,284 in 2016. Continue reading

Man, 64, dies while in ICE custody in Colorado

DENVER – A 64-year-old man in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement died Saturday at an Aurora hospital, the agency said Monday.

Kamyar Samimi, 64, originally of Iran, was arrested by ICE agents in Denver on Nov. 17—more than 12 years after he was convicted of cocaine possession in Arapahoe County. Continue reading

Coloradans increasingly displeased with President Trump, poll finds

DENVER – Colorado voters are increasingly displeased with President Donald Trump and are looking ahead to 2018’s political races with high interest, according to a new poll released this week.

The poll from Keating Research, based in Telluride, shows two-thirds of state voters have an unfavorable opinion of the president, and three in five think he is “dishonest and tells lies.” Continue reading

Justice Department warns Denver its immigration policy might violate federal grant rules

DENVER – The Justice Department warned Denver Police Chief Robert White in a letter Wednesday that Denver might be violating federal rules with some of its so-called “sanctuary city” policies and threatened that the police department could stand to lose federal grant money.

At issue are Byrne justice assistance grants (JAG) issued in accordance with a section of federal law called Section 1373, which deals with communication and information exchanges between local, state and federal law enforcement and other officials. Continue reading

Tom Tancredo enters 2018 Colorado governor’s race, says he expects ‘ugliest’ race in third try

DENVER – Firebrand and former congressman Tom Tancredo will again run for governor of Colorado in 2018, in what will be his third straight try at the seat and what he says will be the “ugliest” race he’s ever run in.

“I think we need to shake up Colorado politics a little bit, and I’m the guy to do that,” he told Denver7, suggesting he might need a Haz-Mat suit for a race that could get dirty quickly. “This is beyond something we’ve ever done before.”

“There’s an establishment here in Colorado just like there is in Washington, I guess we can call it the swamp,” he continued, saying that he wanted to “shake up” that establishment. Continue reading

12 indicted in massive credit card skimming scheme that hit 2K in Colorado, 8K across U.S.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – A Miami-based ring of 12 people was indicted Thursday in a massive credit-card skimming scheme that took advantage of more than 2,300 people from Colorado, and at least 8,000 across the country.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office worked with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service offices in Cleveland, Ohio for 16 months on the investigation, which led to the indictment of the 12, most of whom are Cuban nationals based out of Miami, the sheriff’s office said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the group would fly out of Miami to Cleveland, Chicago, Denver and other places and place the card skimmers on various fuel pumps in the area. Afterward, the ring would allegedly use the skimmed data to make credit card clones and wipe out people’s credit accounts.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said it’s estimated that the group would make about $2.5 million in fraudulent transactions each week using the fraudulent credit cards.

More than 8,000 people are said to be victims of the group, including more than 2,300 in Colorado. The sheriff’s office said some of the people indicted are also linked to a multi-million dollar international money laundering ring, which they will also be indicted for.

Nine of the 12 people were in custody as of Thursday morning, and three were still at large.

Those arrested are: Ranset Rodriguez-Martinez; Yaniris Alfonso; Jose Iglesia Edelberto Hernandez; Luis Enrique Jimenez-Gonzalez; Yadian Hernandez; Lester Castaneda De La Torre; Eddy Pimentel-Vila; and Yonasky Rosa.

The three who are still outstanding are Juan Carlos Banos, Alejandro Moises and Carolos Rodriguez-Martinez.

The sheriff’s office says Rodriguez-Martinez has ties to Aurora, and asks anyone with knowledge of his or the other suspects’ whereabouts to contact the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office at 303-441-4763; the FBI-Cleveland Office at 216-622-6733; or the USSS-Cleveland Office at 216-750-2058.

Officers and deputies from Aurora, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Elbert County, Jefferson County and Parker assisted in the investigation.