The City and County Building got some new signage Thursday morning: a massive blue banner that reads, “DENVER ♥️IMMIGRANTS.”
In a Facebook post made Thursday afternoon, Mayor Hancock said that the sign was a message of love in time for Valentine’s Day that he hopes sends “a clear message to immigrants that Denver is an open and welcoming city.”
Thursday was a busy day for immigration news. That morning, the president of the Denver Police Protective Association testified before a U.S. House of Representatives committee that a city policy limiting police interaction with federal immigration officials was hampering officers’ ability to address the opioid epidemic. Also, multiple immigration proposals were quashed in the U.S. Senate.
Despite the events in Washington, a spokesperson from the mayor’s office said any matching timing was just coincidence.
Hancock’s post did, however, look ahead to March 5, when Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (known as DACA) is set to expire. “Our country is demanding it be addressed with comprehensive immigration reform,” he wrote.
The tumult in the Senate is part of an effort to secure status for those undocumented minors before it expires. While their fate is squarely in the hands of national representatives, local immigration advocates see acts like the blue banner as a positive move.
Corrine Rivera-Fowler, director of policy and civic engagement for the advocacy group Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, told Denverite that the banner shows “solidarity,” something she hopes “may encourage our congressional leaders to stand with the people in our state.”
Overall, she said, city officials have done a good job to stand with local advocates. “We have felt full solidarity with our Denver elected officials,” she continued, “and we thank them.”