OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order today telling state agencies to limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Inslee's executive order covers the State Patrol and all other state agencies. He says it simply reinforces existing state law.
“Their role is to fulfill missions of providing services to Washingtonians, not enforcing immigration statutes,” the governor said at a news conference today.
Under the order, that means agencies must not collect information about immigration status.
They must not help the federal government in creating a religious registry and must not help federal agents in immigration arrests, except as required by law.
The governor says criminal warrants will be honored.
“Washington will not be a willing participant in promoting or carrying out mean-spirited policies that break up families and compromise our national security,” Inslee said.
That's welcome news at the Makkah Islamic school in Seattle. The principal was with the governor for his announcement.
“It's a beacon of hope, it's a beacon of hope for all of us,” said Aishah Bomani
Teresa Garcia is encouraged, too. “If I was crying it's because imagining and remembering all of those little ones who are very afraid because mommy or daddy will not come home today.”
We asked Inslee if he risked losing federal money for the state patrol if he defied President Donald Trump.
“I think when push comes to shove, cities, counties in red and blue states are going to say no, we need money for our law enforcement agencies,” the governor said. When his cellphone rang by surprise, he took a poke at Trump’s alleged Russia connections, by announcing that it was Vladimir Putin. “I'll get back to you Vladimir,” Inslee said to laughter.
Inslee is leaving Friday for the National Governors Association in Washington, DC. On Monday, he’ll have a chance to express his concerns to Trump face-to-face.
Here are some of those events:
- During his State of the City address at a Seattle Mosque, Mayor Ed Murray said he is willing to sue Trump over executive orders. He is seeking detailed information about this Administration’s changes to travel and immigration policy including the DACA program. If the Trump administration does not respond within 20 business days, Murray plans to sue, according to his office.
- The DACA program, which began in 2012, defers removal action against an individual for a certain period of time, covering certain people who were brought illegally to the U.S. at a young age. Daniel Ramirez Medina, who is a DACA recipient, is detained by immigration authorities in mid-February and remains in a Tacoma detention center.
- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson declared victory in his lawsuit against President Donald Trump's travel ban. Washington state was the first state to challenge the president's initial executive order on Jan. 30. A Seattle judge halted the ban that barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries and caused confusion at airports. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling to keep the travel ban blocked.
- In January, Murray said Seattle will remain a sanctuary city even at the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal money. As a sanctuary city, Seattle police and city employees are prohibited from inquiring about immigration status, unless the officer has a reasonable suspicion that person is here illegally after being deported and is committing or has committed a felony.
On Thursday, Inslee noted that actions by national leaders are having a real-world impact in Washington.
According to the governor’s office, state agencies have reported to the governor that some immigrants, including those here legally, have stopped accepting services because they fear what the federal government might do with the information they have to submit to the state.
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