EXCLUSIVE: Statement by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser re: Tay Anderson Allegations + COAG Office’s Statement re: Undocumented Victims Who Report Crimes

Written by on June 3, 2021

In response to questions asked of him and his office, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Wednesday provided Jimmy SengenbergerGazette columnist, as well as columnist for Colorado Politics, 710KNUS-Denver radio host, and Washington Examiner contributor and Examiner-affiliated Jimmy at the Crossroads webshow host – with a statement concerning the sexual assault allegations against Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson involving as many as 62 students or former students. Weiser’s statement is the exclusive, first public comment of any elected Colorado Democrat on the allegations.

Given the hesitation of some undocumented students about reporting sexual assault claims due to fears over possible reporting to ICE and subsequent deportation, we asked the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to provide further information and clarification concerning U-visas and what may happen when undocumented victims report crimes to law enforcement authorities.

Note: AG Weiser’s statement was first published this morning in a Washington Examiner op-ed by Jimmy. Both statements will be included in Jimmy’s weekly Denver Gazette column on Friday.

Statement by Attorney General Phil Weiser

AG Phil Weiser: “The allegations against Director Anderson are very disturbing. Each and every one of these allegations should be fully investigated, and, if warranted, prosecuted. Any person who committed such behavior should have no role in public office or a position of authority.”

Colorado AG’s Office statements concerning the U-visa program for undocumented individuals who report crimes

Colorado AG’s Office: “The U non-immigrant visa status was created by the federal government to protect crime victims that assist law enforcement. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, victims of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, rape, and abusive sexual contact can receive protections under the U-visa program. The law allows the Office of the Attorney General to certify U-visas for victims, although U-visas are mostly issued through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies that prosecute the vast majority of Victim Rights Act crimes. The Attorney General’s Office is committed to supporting victims, who should feel confident reporting their experiences regardless of their status.”

Asked about fears of reprisal or deportation for reporting crimes:

Colorado AG’s Office: “The General Assembly recently took action to provide greater protections for victims seeking a U-visa. Under the new law, law enforcement agencies have new limitations preventing the disclosure of a victim’s personal identifying information or immigration status except when complying with federal law (Section 24-4.1-404, C.R.S.).”

Additionally, per the Office:

Colorado AG’s Office: “U-visas are mostly issued through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies that prosecute the vast majority of Victim Rights Act crimes.”

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