Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to a gathering at the Abu-Bakr Islamic Center of Washington in Tukwila on Friday. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Inslee Says No State Law Enforcement Can Join In on Trump’s Immigrant Roundup

The executive order comes two days after the Trump administration moved forward with more aggressive enforcement plans.

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed an executive order forbidding state agencies from aiding the Trump administration in its crackdown on illegal immigration.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security released documents that, as the New York Times put it, unleashes “the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.” While the effort would obviously be led by federal agents, the documents call for the enlistment of “local police officers as enforcers,” the Times reports.

Inslee’s order states that no such enlistments will come from state ranks. “The Washington State Patrol or Department of Corrections, or other executive or small cabinet agency with arrest powers…shall not arrest solely for violation of federal civil immigration laws, except as otherwise required by federal or state law or authorized by the Governor. Specifically, no agency may enter into any agreements with the federal government authorizing such authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.” It also orders state agencies to not withhold state services based on immigration status or request “specific documents…in order to ascertain a person’s immigration status for the sole purpose of identifying if a person has complied with federal civil immigration law.”

It also forbids the state from helping in “creation of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of religious affiliation…”

The order follows Seattle and other Washington cities committing to not volunteer any assistance to immigration action; in his state of the city address on Tuesday, Mayor Ed Murray said the city planned to file a Freedom of Information Act request to “seek to determine … enforcement actions the federal government may take against us” for being a sanctuary city.

However, there is only so much local agencies can do to protect undocumented immigrants, as illustrated by the recent arrest of a Latino man enrolled in the so-called “Dreamer” program meant to shield people brought to the U.S. as children from immigration enforcement. And as part of the immigration crackdown, the Trump administration announced Tuesday it would do more to publicize crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. As we reported last month, Seattle and King County would almost certainly, unwittingly, aid in that effort.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Drive-thru COVID-19 virus testing last week in the parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett. A study by the University of Washington and UnitedHealth Group, conducted at Everett Clinic locations, found that a less-intrusive form of the coronavirus test would require fewer precautions by health care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New self-swab COVID-19 test is just as accurate, study finds

The study, under peer review, was led by an Everett Clinic doctor. It could speed up testing nationwide.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Life Care Center (LCC) of Kirkland is facing more than $600,000 in fines for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in its facility. Samantha Pak/Sound Publishing
Life Care in Kirkland facing more than $600K in fines for COVID-19 response

The facility has until Sept. 16 to pay or address areas of concern or it will be terminated.

Dentist checking patient’s teeth. Sound Publishing file photo
Dental foundation serves Medicaid patients through COVID-19

The Arcora Foundation is also attempting to expand its urgent care database, allowing those with different insurances to use its services during the outbreak.

Gov. Jay Inslee during a press conference April 2, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee’s Facebook page)
Gov. Inslee extends stay-home order to May 4

As in other states, demand for intensive health care due to COVID-19 is expected to peak later in April.

Unemployment claims continue to climb

For the week of March 22-28, claims have reached more than 181,000.

Inslee to state businesses: Pivot to make medical equipment

The governor said Wednesday that the state must become self-reliant in the fight against COVID-19.

Enumclaw Rehab center a hotbed for coronavirus

Ten clients and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Most Read