Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams disputes ICE report

Weld County and Denver are polar opposites politically - but Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams says he feels for his counterpart in Denver - dealing with a lot of tough questions about the release of a man wanted for deportation.

KUSA - Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams is pushing back against a report from President Donald Trump's administration that suggests his office doesn’t cooperate with immigration officials.

The ICE report, a new weekly product of the Trump administration, lists law enforcement agencies deemed uncooperative with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Alongside liberal Boulder and Denver was Weld County, a solidly conservative county.

“I found it highly inflammatory,” Reams told Next. “It made it sound like sheriffs are the enemy.”

Reams says he abides by the law as all Colorado’s sheriffs have interpreted it, refusing to hold people flagged for deportation without a warrant. Reams says the Constitution and the case law are clear.

“I can’t do that. I can’t do that in good conscience,” Reams said.

Immigration policy is a hot issue and Reams says he gets an earful from both ends of the political spectrum.

“I’ve had people accuse me of running a sanctuary jail,” Reams said. “But then on the other side I get questioned by certain groups in my community asking if we’re part of roundups.”

Reams said he sympathizes with Denver Sheriff’s officials, who have faced questions about the release of an inmate wanted for deportation by ICE. The Denver jail gave ICE less than 30 minutes notice about the release of the suspect, who later went on to be accused of involvement in a subsequent shooting, leading to a murder charge.

“I understand how easily that could happen,” Reams said. “I can’t blame Denver County.”

Reams does believe Weld County provides more notice to ICE prior to releasing wanted individuals.

“I’m sure Denver would have loved to have worked in a better coordinated effort with ICE,” Reams said.

For all the increased attention on immigration enforcement, Reams told Next he hasn’t seen any change in ICE procedures in Weld County.

Nothing has changed,” Reams said. “Nothing at all.”

FULL INTERVIEW: Weld County Sheriff pushes back against Trump administration

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