COLORADO, USA – In June 2019, Jade Kominek, an investigative analyst with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, emailed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee to inquire about the immigration status of someone who was the subject of a DMV investigation.
Jeff Hamilton, a local deportation officer with ICE, responded by sending Kominek the file the agency had on the individual. “She’ll likely be an arrest for us in addition to any state criminal charges you folks might file,” Hamilton wrote, then signed off with “Good hunting!”
The emails, obtained by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition through an open-records request, show that the DMV and ICE had a chummy relationship dating back to at least 2018 and well into 2020, despite the fact that the State of Colorado had been encouraging residents to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.
Now, some state lawmakers want to establish a data-sharing firewall between state agencies and federal immigration authorities so that undocumented immigrants can feel safe getting driver’s licenses and accessing other state services.