TELLER COUNTY – A district court judge denied a motion from the ACLU to file a preliminary injunction against the Teller County Sheriff Office over holding an inmate in the county jail for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
According to a news release from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, the judge denied the ACLU’s request saying Sheriff Jason Mikesell has the legal authority to cooperate with ICE. According to the sheriff’s office, the judge also said deputies can detain any persons that ICE has issued a detainer request and an arrest warrant.
The judge’s order continues to allow Sheriff Mikesell to cooperate with ICE pending Canseco’s trial.
The lawsuit involves inmate Leonardo Canseco, who is charged with two misdemeanors and is being held on an $800 bond. The suit filed by the ACLU alleges Sheriff Mikesell is violating Colorado law by holding the inmate for ICE instead of allowing his release.
Sheriff Mikesell issued a statement which read in part:
“We won the right to continue to protect our citizens. The district court judge ruled in our favor to continue cooperating with our Federal partners in this important law enforcement area. We are pleased by the court’s thoughtful and thorough review of the facts pertaining to this case.
This is not a political agenda; this is an agenda to protect our citizens. We believe there is a need to stand on morals and ethical values and not allow the ACLU to intimidate law enforcement agencies. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our commissioners and community and will always strive to keep and preserve the peace in Teller County to protect our citizens.”
The ACLU also issued a statement:
“We are disappointed with the court’s initial finding in the Canseco case, with which we fundamentally disagree. This decision is now in direct conflict with a previous order from the same court stating that requests from ICE do not provide legal authority for Colorado sheriffs to hold individuals after they post bond or resolve their criminal cases. We are confident that the higher courts will ultimately agree with our position, and we will continue to work toward that result.”