Woodland Park Joins Anti-Sanctuary Movement Sweeping Across Region

Trevor Phipps

The city of Woodland Park has jumped on board the anti-immigration bandwagon, even though it’s more of a symbolic gesture.

In its most recent meeting, the WP City Council passed a resolution, declaring its status as a non-sanctuary city.

In the process, Woodland Park has joined forces with such communities as Green Mountain Falls, Monument, Palmer Lake, Colorado Springs and El Paso and Teller counties.

With election season in full swing, immigration has emerged as a hot topic from a local, state and national standpoint.  It has been heavily discussed during a series of town hall meetings in Teller County. The issue has received more attention due to a slew of problems facing the city of Denver after it made a “Sanctuary City” designation that opened the door for allowing more than 40,000 new immigrant arrivals to get bussed into Denver.


At one point, a bus of immigrants was shipped into Colorado Springs from Denver forcing southern Colorado government officials to slam the breaks on the idea of allowing large numbers of immigrants into the region. So far, the cities of Colorado Springs and Monument, Green Mountain Falls and other local entities have passed resolutions to declare that they are not sanctuary cities like Denver.


During a city council candidate forum that took place earlier this month, one question that captured much attention dealt with whether or not Woodland Park should become a sanctuary city and welcome an influx of immigrants. The same concern was voiced at a candidates’ forum in Green Mountain Falls.

During the first council meeting in March, Mayor Hilary LaBarre promised the public that she would have a resolution similar to those passed in Monument and Colorado Springs.

She definitely kept her word.


The resolution officially declares Woodland Park as a non-sanctuary city, citing the council’s intention to do what it can to secure the border and enforce immigration laws to protect the community.  This has always been an important issue for many in Teller County, as the sheriff’s office has maintained a strong working relationship with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials, actions that have been frowned on by many state leaders.


“The transport of migrants entering the country illegally into the city may compromise the safety, well-being, and resources of its residents,” the resolution states. “The city calls upon the president of the United States to take immediate and effective action to secure the border and enforce immigration laws to address the concerns of the community. The city recognizes the importance of legal immigration and welcomes individuals to apply through the legal process.”


In the end, the council voted unanimously to approve the resolution and immediately declare Woodland Park as a “Non-Sanctuary City.” Councilman Robert Zuluaga thanked the mayor for bringing the resolution to the table. He said that it was her “parting gift” to the city in reference to the fact that a new mayor will be sworn into office in mid-April.