This is gross for a number of reasons.
First, the obvious: The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public. Also, urinating in public. Camping on public or private land without permission. Panhandling. And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.
Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from “unintended consequences.” These consequences were fines and longer jail terms, as has been customary in most places for violating the behavioral norms of civilized American society. Our Jazz Shaw explained the puzzling initial city council vote and the media’s slanted coverage here.
The extinct ordinances set all violations of Denver’s municipal code as punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $999. The new rules, which also apply to homeless, establish two classes of violations: Class I offenses with the same fine and a maximum 300 days in jail. And Class 2 offenses such as public defecation, which are deemed mere “quality of life” issues. They now carry no fine and a max 60 days in jail.
Denver might want to look up New York City’s experience with mere “quality of life” issues before Rudy Giuliani became mayor in 1994.
Mark Silverstein, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, explains the real reason behind the changes: “Many times it becomes a deportable offense if you’ve been convicted of even a minor ordinance violation that’s punishable by a year in jail.”
Denver is considering declaring itself a sanctuary city in defiance of President Trump’s policies on illegal immigrants. But by redefining lawbreaking and its possible penalties, these new Denver laws accomplish much of the same without risking loss of federal funds.
For now, Denver’s sheriff does notify ICE agents if he’s holding inmates wanted for deportation, but only until they make bail or complete their sentence. Otherwise, they are set free in society.
Some places might find it acceptable for everyone to live by the established laws and remove those here illegally to begin with and who violate even simple norms of decent public behavior. But due to the soft bigotry of political correctness, assimilation to American standards is set aside as too demanding in the interests of excusing the behavior of some non-citizen illegal residents.
Why? Because the city won’t set out portable toilets? Or apparently Denver officials simply don’t think such people are capable of learning to seek and use a public restroom?
In the interests of that inclusive political correctness, Denver now expects its three million law-abiding metropolitan residents to just live with the sanitary consequences of however many illegals choose to stay there and misbehave in public. And, of course, for taxpayers to watch where they step.