King wants state review of compliance with law against immigration sanctuary

A Grand Junction legislator wants the state to look into whether cities are complying with a state law that prohibits them from pursuing sanctuary policies when it comes to illegal immigrants.

Rep. Steve King, a Republican, said he wants “to make sure we’re doing everything we can in the state of Colorado to protect Colorado citizens.”

One of the incidents that moved King to seek the legislative audit was the killing of three people at an Aurora ice-cream shop Sept. 4 by an illegal immigrant.

Francis Hernandez, 23, was jailed in connection with charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of the accident that killed Debbie Serecky, 51, of Aurora, Patricia Guntharp, 49, of Centennial, and Marten Kudlis, 3.

Hernandez, born in Guatemala, entered the United States illegally in 1991 and had been arrested several times in the last five years racking up nine misdemeanor convictions, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

A 2006 law prohibiting cities from adopting policies in which they offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants “is pretty straightforward and my request is pretty straightforward,” King said.

King also asked that the legislative audit committee look into measures undertaken to bring state and local agencies into compliance with the law.

State Auditor Sally Symanski said Friday she hadn’t seen King’s letter.

Typically, she asks the Legislative Audit Committee at first opportunity to do preliminary research before making a recommendation whether to proceed with a full audit.

The Legislative Audit Committee next meets Nov. 7.


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