As we've been reporting, the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency has sent shock waves through the immigrant community as a result of his campaign comments about mass deportation and more. The confusion and fear of children at many Denver-area schools the day after the vote was comparable to kids' responses to 9/11, according to at least one local educator.
In recent days, older students and officials have offered up responses of their own. Yesterday, students at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Auraria campus staged demonstrations to declare their institutions to be sanctuary campuses — places where undocumented individuals would be protected from arrest and persecution.
In addition, the City of Boulder is currently looking into formally establishing itself as a sanctuary city.
The Facebook event page for the CU Boulder protest featured this graphic...
...and the following introduction, which notes that the event was part of a coordinated effort across the country:
On November 16th, we are calling on all students (and others that would like to support) to join the movement to declare that CU Boulder be a #SanctuaryCampus and commit to putting our bodies between Trump and undocumented students. This is a nationwide movement, and for those of you not near CU there are 80 campuses rising up across the country.
We'll be having everyone leave their classes at 3 pm and we will be convening around 3:15 pm on the Norlin Quad to deliver our demand letter. If you're not a student but want to support, join the students on Norlin Quad around 3:05 pm.
We are already seeing students rise up on our own — but we must create national solidarity to create a massive resistance against Donald Trump and to demand permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants.
It's time that we unite to protect our most vulnerable people — including undocumented immigrants, Black people, Muslims, Queer people, and all people of color.
We must amplify each other and rise up together in the face of Trump.
The CU Boulder turnout was modest in size, with around seventy students reportedly taking part.
Around the same time that CU Boulder students were marching, many of their peers in Denver were taking part in what was dubbed the Auraria Campus Tri-Institutional Walkout for Campus Sanctuary.
On Facebook, participant Elizabeth Renee Fajardo shared photos of the event, including the image at the top of this post, as well as this one....
...and this one:
Meanwhile, at a Tuesday, November 15, meeting, members of the Boulder City Council directed City Attorney Tom Carr to explore what steps would be necessary to formalize the community as a sanctuary city.
Boulder has already taken steps in this direction. A 2015 post on BillOReilly.com lists Boulder just below a roster of sanctuary cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Haven, Connecticut and Trump's new home of Washington, D.C., under the heading "Jurisdictions limiting compliance with ICE detainers."
A statement shared with Westword by Patrick von Keyserling, communication director for the City of Boulder, stresses that this process is in its early stages.
"Boulder City Council asked staff to conduct research into the impacts of declaring Boulder a sanctuary city," von Keyserling writes. "That research is just beginning, and no decision has been made."
Adds von Keyserling: "Boulder has always been an inclusive city, which welcomes people of all races, sexual orientations, ethnicities and religious beliefs. Regardless of what action council decides to take on any future sanctuary city designation, that will not change."
Joining the sanctuary city fraternity could be costly, von Keyserling acknowledges. In his words, "The issue of declaring sanctuary...is one that has legal and financial implications. The city’s research will take into account the potential loss of federal dollars, impacts on existing city services and programs and staff’s ability to serve Boulder residents, as well as our community’s strong commitment to social justice."
Such beliefs are shared by many Coloradans — and more and more of them are speaking out.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.