King County executive defies President-elect Trump on sanctuary cities

By: Essex Porter

Updated:

SEATTLE - King County Executive Dow Constantine on Tuesday defied the President-elect Donald Trump's call for an end to so-called sanctuary cities.

That's despite Trump's promise to withdraw federal funding from local governments that aren't more cooperative with immigration authorities.

But Constantine says the county will risk federal dollars by defying Trump when it comes to the issue of sanctuary cities.

“We do not, as a matter of policy established by the council and the executive, ask for people's papers before we provide them critical services. And we will not begin doing so now,” Constantine said.

Reminded about Trump’s vow to take away federal funds, Constantine responded, “We will see whether they have the courage to live up to that.”

The biggest risk is in Trump's pledge to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act.

“Two hundred thousand people in King County could lose their health insurance or have it compromised,” county health director Patty Hayes said.

Tending to medical needs, such as addiction, is an important part of ending homelessness.

“King County has made substantial investments in the capitol facilities, detox facilities, inpatient mental health facilities with the expectation that the funding through the Affordable Care Act will pay for the services,” county human services director Adrian Quinn said.

But another Trump promise sounds good in King County where 57 roads and bridges need to be repaired or replaced.

“Going to rebuild our highways bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” the president-elect said on election night.

Those are welcome words at county-owned Boeing Field.

“Our aviation division in encouraged to hear the president-elect speak of our need to upgrade the nation's airports, said Rob Gannon, King County Metro general manager.

Gannon says King County relies on $500 million in federal money for transportation needs alone.

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