Steffan Tubbs Show, Tim Neville, April 18, 2018

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Guests:    Neville, Tim


Date:        April 18, 2018

Topics:     Senate Bill 220, SB18-220, Sanctuary Cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Local Law Enforcement, Municipalities, Cooperation, Illegal Alien Criminal Felons

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HOST STEFFAN TUBBS: [00:00:00] It is my pleasure to welcome in, though, for this first segment, at minimum, State Senator Tim Neville. He is one of the sponsors of Senate bill 220, which basically deals with sanctuary cities. And state Sen. Tim Neville on the phone with us, a Republican from Littleton. Appreciate the time. Thank you, sir!


TUBBS: [00:00:18] Doing well, thank you. Let’s talk about — if you can — the genesis of SB 220.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:00:22] Sure. Well, basically we have a problem with sanctuary city policies. And we’ve really seen this driven home in Denver. I think most of the people in the area are very concerned regarding some of the challenges that we’ve had within the judicial system and the release of illegal alien criminals back into the community without — with the city of Denver and other municipalities that have not honored ICE detainers in the past. And additionally, we’ve had [added] onto that the passage of certain statutes by the Denver City Council that actually go after the municipal employees in the city of Denver, threatening them with fines or even possible loss of their job if they actually even communicate with our Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

TUBBS: [00:01:12] Yeah. It is, to me, mind boggling. And I’ve been a newsman in this town a long time. But it’s it’s nice to be able to give my opinion. So, forgive me if, throughout, I might be going, “Uh-huh, uh-huh. I agree with you. Yes, yes, yes!” This is such — Senator Tim Neville, again, [is] joining us. This is such an emotional issue. How do you work around that, to just go, “Hey, folks! Listen, this is the law. They’re here illegally.”.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:01:39] Well, that is basically the issue, Steffan. But, also our responsibility — the responsibility of government is to provide for protection of individual rights and then life, liberty, and property. And within that, the equal application of law is extremely important. We understand there should be due process and all of those things. But to say that you’re just going to basically decide which laws you’re going to enforce and which ones you’re not, you know, that’s not a proper role of government. That’s not good governance. And that’s not protecting the safety of those individuals within those cities.

TUBBS: [00:02:17] I want to get with you as to what happened most recently at the state Senate. But, are you able to go back? When did this happen? And we’ll just focus on Denver, Colorado and surrounding cities. When did this start?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:02:34] Well, it has been starting for quite a while, I think. It’s been in the last few years. It’s kind of interesting, I went back and I found, I think, a statute in 2007 that Democrats and Republicans agreed that we have a problem with illegal immigration and also with the idea it was it was a resolution calling for the for the federal government to step forward and actually be more responsible in its enforcement. And we’ve gone a long way from that to a point where now, we have certain entities and certain political entities that are saying we don’t want enforcement. We want sanctuary cities. So, we really slipped backwards in that area. And we’ve also seen, you know, an increase in certain crimes and an increase in certain things in the communities. And the bottom line is if you don’t enforce the law, don’t expect a safer society.

TUBBS: [00:03:33] Right. State Senator Tim Neville from Littleton, [is] joining us. He’s a Republican. I want to go back in a little bit of the research, Tim, that I did. I found the quote for me, and I want to just read it. Quote: “We are not worried about the family that came to the United States for a better life. We’re worried about those that are in constant violation of our laws and are a burden to our society. I think one of the things that’s so amazing — even if you look at, most recently, the fatal hit and run on I-70 at Brighton Boulevard — these people don’t even go through what a quote/unquote “legal citizen” would go through. This guy was considered an immigration fugitive by ICE. He ended up coming back and turning himself in, and I think he’s got — he’s either still in court, or in the judicial process. But he was in jail for a a case where he was the responsible party in a fatal hit and run. And he was in custody 11 hours. It just — it boggles the mind!

TIM NEVILLE: [00:04:37] Correct. I mean, the bond was set extremely low and of course he was released without notifying Immigrations and Customs, that of course –they were very interested in this individual. And this isn’t the first time. We had a gentleman that was released several years ago, and — I think it was about a year and a half ago. And, you know, about a week and a half later, after Immigrations and Customs was still looking for him. I believe he was released at — I don’t remember exactly the numbers or the–. It was on a Sunday evening. At about 11:37, they sent a fax to the ICE office — 11:37 P.M. ICE came in that next morning to pick this individual up. And they were not in that–. Of course, he’d already been released, a half an hour later.

TUBBS: [00:05:26] Sure.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:05:26] And then this gentleman actually committed a murder in Denver. And a gentleman was killed, and his family was deprived of, you know, of the parent and the breadwinner. And this is a huge problem.

TUBBS: [00:05:40] We’re talking with state Senator Tim Neville, Republican from Littleton. Where are we with SB 220, right now?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:05:46] Well, we passed SB 220 today, on 3rd reading. So it is going over to the House. It is a referred measure. It would go to the ballot if it passes the House and the Senate and is signed by the governor. Of course, it passed the Senate. It was on a straight party line vote, unfortunately. And, you know, we — I don’t know how it’s going to go in the House. People tell me that it may not have a prayer in the House. But, you know, we don’t run bills based upon the knowledge that we know that they’re going to pass. We run bills because they’re important to the state of Colorado and to Colorado’s residents. And then at that point, we do understand that individuals are going to be having a ballot measure prepared to go on the ballot in November, if this bill does not make it out of the House. So, there’s definitely a backup plan in place. And I think a number of proponents that understand the importance of this issue are focused and committed to making sure it is on the ballot — one way or the other — in November.

TUBBS: [00:06:51] How would that read, in summary?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:06:54] Well, there are a couple of different titles that are, I think, being worked through with the title board. But in the basics of it, it prohibits or restricts any jurisdiction official or employee from sending to –. Actually, — I’m sorry — it would specify that the state — and any political subdivision of the state — shall not prohibit or restrict jurisdiction, an official of the jurisdiction, or an employee from sending to — or receiving from — federal immigration agencies, information regarding citizenship or immigration status of the individual, which is what the Denver statutes actually do, right now. It prohibits — it would eliminate the ability of those jurisdictions to prohibit people from doing any of the following with respect– well, and a couple of things: sending the information to — these are some of the things that Denver actually restricts, and in other sanctuary city communities — sending information to, or requesting information from federal agencies, maintaining any of the information, exchanging the information with federal immigration authorities or other political subdivisions of the state. It would also eliminate the ability of those jurisdictions to encourage the physical harboring of illegal immigrants. And so, those are the basics of the bill.

TUBBS: [00:08:18] State Sen. Tim Neville with us here on 710 KNUS. Twelve minutes after 5:00 o’clock. [I] want to know if it’s frustrating to you, assuming — and I’ll say that I’m assuming that it’s not going to pass in the House. I know you don’t write bills — you just said very eloquently — you don’t do this to then wonder what’s going to happen tomorrow, so to speak. But it’s got to be frustrating because there are so many people that feel like you do, and feel like I do, that are listening to you right now, but then they’re also realists, going, “Well, look at how many Democrats are over there on the other side.”.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:08:54] Well, that’s why I think it’s important that we do get it out onto the ballot. If we do get it out onto the ballot, I think that the people of Colorado will overwhelmingly step forward and let their elected officials know exactly what they want on this. And that’s the importance of getting it out to the people.

TUBBS: [00:09:14] Right. When you look at the problem and then — I’m sure in some of your research and the people on your staff — I can only imagine what you’ve heard and learned and can maybe share a story or two anecdotally about talking with law enforcement. You want to talk about a frustrated position to be in, I can’t imagine that! — trying to enforce what they’re sworn to do and yet they’re hog tied, in a sense.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:09:41] Well, you bet. I mean, when it becomes ‘catch and release’ out there, and they have no ability to basically interact, or they’re concerned about possibly losing their job or being even fined by their city government, you can imagine what that does to people. I mean, it’s totally demoralizing. A number of the folks at Denver — in the Denver Police Department — have actually even testified in front of the federal side on this frustration. And it appears that many of the individuals involved in this for political reasons or for whatever, have staked themselves onto this hill and said that, you know, whatever they — they’re not as concerned about their employees and protecting their citizens and their constituents, that are here with lawful intent, versus some people — and we’re not talking–. You know, the frustrating thing, Steffan, is we’re talking about, many times, most of these people are hardened criminals that should be removed. And of course, the other thing that’s frustrating — that I find frustrating — is the cost that the city or that the state of Colorado bears. Even within the within the corrections system, we hear about a lot of money that we missed for other needs — whether it be roads and bridges, or education, or whatever else. This is not obeying the law, and not and not actually allowing that conversation with federal authorities, is very, very costly to the state of Colorado and it’s taxpayers.

TUBBS: [00:11:17] A Republican from Littleton, state Senator Tim Neville, sponsor of Senate Bill 220 which did pass today along a party line vote goes over to the House of Representatives, now. You can follow him on Twitter — @NevilleforCO, [reapeating] @NevilleforCO. And if you follow us on Twitter you can find that address in our Tweets from this afternoon. I hate to do this to you, but would you be able to stick for another segment? I’ve got a few more questions and we’ve got to hit a break. Is that possible?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:11:46] I’d be glad to.

TUBBS: [00:11:47] OK, that’d be great. State Senator Tim Neville, here on 710 KNUS. Your phone line is open, by the way, if you want to jump on board and just kind of get in the queue, so to speak, and give us your take on SB 220. I also want to ask Tim Neville, when we come back, if he’s been labeled at all — or slightly labeled, “Oh, you’re just another Republican racist.” I’m Stephanie Tubbs. This is 710 KNUS.  303-696-1971.

[00:12:14] [commercial break].

TUBBS: [00:12:14] We resume our conversation with State Senator Tim Neville, who again just told us before the break that the Senate bill 220 — dealing with sanctuary cities, trying to do something about this — passed today in the Senate. And now it goes over to — it was on a party line vote– goes over to the House. If it passes — Crossing fingers– somehow, in the House, it would be signed by the governor.. Or would it? State Senator Tim Neville continues our conversation. Do you think Hickenlooper would sign this if it did pass?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:12:46] Well, Steffan, I don’t know. Until we get it on his desk, I don’t know.

TUBBS: [00:12:49] Yeah.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:12:49] You know, my job is to move it forward. And like anything else, it’s going to be up to the governor. I would love to see that opportunity to have him answer that.

TUBBS: [00:13:01] Yeah, I could assume what his answer would be, but we shall we shall see. I want to know — there’s something that I call on this program, and this is only my eighth week of doing it here at this station, and I call it the S.G. and our what the left does to those of us that for example would want Senate bill 220 to pass. It’s the SG&R: the shame, the guilt, and in a situation like this, the ‘R’ stands for racist. I’m wondering, have you felt any of that pressure — or received tweets, or Facebook messages, or emails, voicemails, that, “You’re just nothing more than a racist, Tim Neville!”

TIM NEVILLE: [00:13:39] Of course. And, you know, you understand pretty quickly once you’re in politics and you’re talking about policy, you know that’s the refuge of those who really don’t have a either a grasp of the issue or they have no real counter to your argument about why this is public safety and enforcing the law is a good thing, and obeying the Constitution of the United States, and actually cooperating is is a positive thing, for all your constituents. So, yes, I have had that. And, you know, Facebook –whether it be other things — but, you know, I tend to take on some strong stances on different issues so it’s not unusual [inaudible].

TUBBS: [00:14:24] Yeah. What do you hear from your fellow Republicans about this? And how did your name get attached? Why are you behind this?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:14:33] You know, why I’m carrying it — I carried a similar bill last year. And, of course, it’s something that I feel very strongly about. And we did have — of course, we had united Republican support. We had, let’s see, 16 out of the 18 Republicans in the Colorado Senate were on the bill. So, I think that’s where you see — you know, the party is very focused on this. We understand the importance of this. And, you know, one of the things that we hear, too — you know, you mentioned there are a number of things. I think ‘racist’ is usually the one that’s kind of the final counter. But when you stand up to those things –. One of the ones I heard today — or actually, yesterday, on second reading — was that this bill is just — it’s not about, it’s not the ‘Colorado way.’ It’s –.

TUBBS: [00:15:22] Well, no! It’ not the Colorado way, currently!

TIM NEVILLE: [00:15:22] [laughs] Good point, good point! But it’s –. But the thing that was thrown at me, it was sort of what I call ‘the subtle race card.’ It was that, “Maybe,” you know, “You people are scared of other people that maybe you don’t know!” And I did, you know, have some conversation about that at the well. I’m not scared of other people. I’m not scared of people that are either immigrants or whatever else. That doesn’t scare me. What scares me — the only thing that scares me — is when we have a society that actually breaks down and doesn’t hold its elected officials accountable to enforcing the law.

TUBBS: [00:16:04] Mm-hmm.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:16:04] And, you know, that’s how you counter that. This is about accountability. And you know, we expect criminals to act like criminals. But we should expect our elected officials to act like elected officials, and swear to the enforcement mechanisms that are in front of them and obey their constitutional responsibilities.

TUBBS: [00:16:25] Yeah. You know, what I would add to that is, if you’re a critic of Tim Neville or Steffan Tubbs or whomever, why do you have to go to the easiest, which is, “Oh, you’re racist! You’re a racist!”.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:16:35] Yeah, well, like I said, it’s usually a matter of you don’t have any other facts or information. And you know, how can you attack a system that — first of all, an immigration system that allows over approximately 1.4 to 1.5 legal immigrants to come into our country every year? What other country has that type of heart and welcoming — you know, that allows that? Nobody. And then at that point, then you have all these other derivations of following the law. And when you ask people to follow the law, none of us would expect — this is not about race, first of all! This is about following the law and abiding by those laws. That’s what it’s about. And when you get to that point, and you throw race out of there, and you say, “It doesn’t matter what color or what country or whatever else, you should follow the law!” And your elected officials are sworn to follow the law. Then it becomes something else. And actually, there’s very little that they have left to say.

TUBBS: [00:17:39] I don’t get it. I just — I fail to see–. And then what I’ve heard from critics — just to me and in having this position, and I’m sure you have, as well — is, “Well, they’re not all that way!” But you know, you said you’re not scared of people. I’ll tell you who I’m deathly afraid [of]: that my 17, soon to be 18 year-old son is driving in a car around our state, around this metro area, and the likes of the guy that did the fatal I-70 / Brighton Boulevard crash could run into him! That’s what I’m concerned about!

TIM NEVILLE: [00:18:16] That’s it!

TUBBS: [00:18:16] And they have no –. Again, we’re talking about, folks, with State Senator Tim Neville. You and I, to my knowledge, have never met in person. But I’m lockstep with you on what I’m reading and what I’m hearing because as you stated, we’re not worried about the family that came to the United States for a better life. Folks, we’re talking about people that number one, are here illegally; and number two, that are criminals. And it’s so frustrating as a constituent to — of somebody in this state, right? I’m voting for people that some people out there that are sworn by the Constitution of the state and the country, they’re not upholding their job! And I know that’s frustrating to you.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:18:58] Well, it is. And you know, you see these people at parties and get togethers. And, you know — bottom line, you know, people look at them and say, “You’re an elected official. What should that look like?” We can have discrepancies or arguments regarding policy, but we should not have arguments regarding, at least, obeying and enforcing the law. That shouldn’t be an argument.

TUBBS: [00:19:21] Right. What what do you say to people — when you do hear that, in so many words, when you hear, “Well, they’re not all that way.”

TIM NEVILLE: [00:19:26] When it comes to — when you say, “They’re not all that way,” I ask who is the ‘they’ they’re talking about?

TUBBS: [00:19:36] Right. Well–.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:19:37] Are these are these criminals who have been picked up off the street and they’re in Denver jails that are then being released, when ICE has a detainer? ‘They’re?” — Who is ‘they?’

TUBBS: [00:19:50] Mm-hmm.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:19:50] You know, I think everybody likes to lock people into various groups, and I think that’s one of the challenges we have. This is not about ‘all groups,’ or whatever else. This is about individuals who actually have disobeyed our laws. And actually, — and most of them are, you know, are felons, or even convicted felons. And what do we do in those situations? And what do we hold our elected officials accountable to do? And it’s real simple: enforce the law, and actually support the law enforcement that is constitutionally bound to oversee our immigration laws — the federal immigration authorities — not to actually go out and make those arrests, per se, but at least not pass laws and statutes that actually avoid the ability to actually even be able to cooperate in that case. That’s the problem here. And that’s what this — that’s what Senate bill 220 and the referred measure is attempting to to address.

TUBBS: [00:20:56] Yeah. The question for our listeners would be, –yeah– “Do you want on November 6 to vote on a bill like this?” State Senator Tim Neville is joining us. He’s a Republican, representing Littleton. Tim, I’m not sure if you saw the story that has come out, but in San Diego County the Board of Supervisors voted earlier today to in fact file a court brief siding with the federal government in its lawsuit against California’s so-called sanctuary state law. And in California God knows what they’re doing out there, in my home state.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:21:26] Mm-hmm.

TUBBS: [00:21:26] You know, thank God there are some elected officials, apparently, on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors that feel like something needs to be done. But then you look at even what the governor of California [has done]. He commits 400 National Guard troops to the border, and then says, “Nah. You know what? No.” Because they’re going to be asked — it’s too closely linked to immigration enforcement. You just got to wonder. And do we want to go the way of California?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:21:51] Well, I can answer that one very easily, Steffan. I’ve never run into anybody who will on — either on camera or on tape — say that they do want to go to the way of California. I think that’s one everybody in Colorado takes a look at. And unfortunately, these policies take us close to that, as they are. And, you know, we see we see that turmoil out there where counties are fighting to try to stay above water because the State Government out there has done what some of our cities and counties have done here already. It’s just totally — it’s totally disrespectful to the voters and to the people of Colorado, or even to California. And it’s a recipe for disaster.

TUBBS: [00:22:37] I fully agree. If people are just joining us — if you’re just joining us midway through the 5 o’clock hour, wondering what these two white guys are arguing — or commiserating about on the radio, here’s what it is. State Senator Tim Neville is our guest. He’s a Republican out of Littleton, and today at the Capitol in the Senate, SB — Senate bill — 220 passed a party line vote. It now goes on to the House. Now, Senate bill 220 basically — and Tim, feel free to add after I’m finished — is, it would basically place a prohibition against sanctuary city policies, coming up on the November 6 ballot, if you got your way. Feel free to add.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:23:16] That’s — that’s correct. I mean, there’s a little more detail to it, but in a nutshell that’s exactly what it does.

TUBBS: [00:23:24] Right. What are you hearing — so, you know, you represent the Littleton area which is quite large, when you consider Highlands Ranch is kind of considered [part of Littleton]. My mailing address, for example, where I live, is Littleton. What are you hearing from constituents that you directly represent?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:23:42] Steffan, My area is pretty unique. You know, it’s an interesting area. I don’t really represent Highlands Ranch. I don’t represent the city of Littleton. I represent quite a bit of unincorporated Jefferson County, south and west Golden. But I do have a section of southwest Denver. I have all of Gilpin county, and I even have a little portion of the southern end of Boulder County, including the township of Superior. But the one thing I hear from everybody is they expect the law to be to be enforced, and they’re very concerned about public safety.

TUBBS: [00:24:16] Right! Public safety. I just don’t get it. You’ve been very kind with your time.  J ust a couple of minutes, and then we’ll release you, like you were in custody. And ‘catch and release was your term.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:24:36] Thank you.

TUBBS: [00:24:36] You made it very clear, and I think–. I took a couple of notes, and back to our law enforcers, you called it “totally demoralizing.” Have you heard — or can you share, anecdotally, a specific story where –. I can just imagine, if you’re in law enforcement, and you just– you don’t even know what to do! You just kind of throw your hands up. And I think that goes to your ‘totally demoralizing’ quote.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:24:56] Well, yeah. And I don’t have the name of –. The gentleman that is in charge of the Police Protection Association in Denver showed his frustration and actually went in and testified on the federal level. But I hear this from a number of law enforcement officers, you know, on a regular basis. They have to be concerned. Of course, in Denver they are they’re very concerned because if they speak out, they could be threatened with the loss of their job.

TUBBS: [00:25:22] Right.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:25:22] And when you start thinking about those things–. You know, what are we trying to do as a society? Why would we actually, you know, put our plaw enforcement officers in harm’s way or under threat? And this is — these are other individuals in the city government in Denver, right now. It’s –it’s abhorrent!

TUBBS: [00:25:42] It is. As we wrap up with you, I’m just wondering your take on how the President has handled this from the national level, what your feelings are for example about building a wall. The bottom line is, from at least my perspective which is a pretty small one, but I’m thinking, “You know what? You do something to prevent — or at least deter — illegal aliens from coming up from Mexico, no matter what country they’re from.” We saw the Armata — or whatever they were calling it — a couple of weeks ago– you know, the caravan. They’re not just from Mexico. Predominantly, they are. But something has got to be done because, look, you look at a place like Denver. We might as well just roll out the red carpet.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:26:28] Well there’s a big sign in Denver that says, “Immigrants Welcome.” And, you know, the question is — you know, if immigrants that come here for a better life and a better opportunity that obey the laws and go through the steps and processes, that they should be welcomed. That is the history of our country. We all have roots that go back to that. But those individuals that come and break our laws and are guilty of, you know, of violations and felonies and those type of things, those people should not be receiving sanctuary in our cities. It creates a tremendous problem. And it also sends a message to the rest of the world that if you’re a criminal you’re going to have a safe sanctuary in Colorado, or in Denver, or [in] these other sanctuary cities. And that’s not conducive to public safety.

TUBBS: [00:27:19] Yeah. And I think maybe you’re referring to — and correct me if I’m wrong — but you’re talking about Nick Rogers, President of the Denver Police Protective Association?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:27:25] That’s correct.

TUBBS: [00:27:26] Yeah, Nick Rogers.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:27:26] Nick Rogers, that is correct.

TUBBS: [00:27:28] Final question — you brought it up, which I think is something that I’ve talked about in the past on this program — is, you look at what’s above the steps, right now, of the City and County Building which, if you peered through maybe your office at the Capitol, if you’ve got a decent window, you can see, it’s the huge sign: “Denver heart Immigrants.”

TIM NEVILLE: [00:27:51] Right.

TUBBS: [00:27:51] What does that say when you’re trying to get SB 220 passed?

TIM NEVILLE: [00:27:55] Well, I — you know, it’s — there’s not a problem with  t he sign! The problem is with the policy of the mayor and the City Council and the sanctuary city policy. You know, we should welcome all people, particularly people that come here — whether they come here from another country, if they do it legally, whether they come here from another state. We should be welcoming of those people that want to add to our society and actually want to work.

TUBBS: [00:28:19] And the catch phrase, or the catch word, is: ‘legally.’.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:28:22] You bet!

TUBBS: [00:28:22] I really appreciate your time, Tim, and and hope to have you on the program again. I will say this — because I can, now. I am a newsman, but I wish you the best of luck, as your colleagues over in the House hopefully will do the right thing.

TIM NEVILLE: [00:28:40] Steffan, thank you very much.

TUBBS: [00:28:40] [I] sure appreciate it, State Senator Tim Neville.