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Deputies investigate racist letters targeting Mexican immigrants, Burien's status as sanctuary city

Typed letters that contained racist language targeting Mexican immigrants and Burien’s status as a sanctuary city were recently distributed to homes and businesses in the city, according to Mayor Jimmy Matta, who said the King County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said detectives are looking into who distributed the letter but couldn’t immediately provide information on how many letters had been distributed around Burien.

"To me, the letter was scary,” said Mayor Jimmy Matta, Burien’s first Latino mayor, who was assaulted in an alleged hate crime last year. "At the end of the day, somebody may take that serious and hurt someone."

KIRO 7 obtained a copy of the letter allegedly written by a black nationalist group that states, “We encourage violence against Jews, Whites, and Police. We now are concerned about our way of life being threatened by the Mexican Illegal Aliens. We do not advocate violence towards them.”

A spokesperson for that black nationalist group, which we are not naming at this time, called the letter “ridiculous” and said “We nor anyone affiliated with [our group] would write, print or circulate and such silliness.”

Mayor Matta said the letters were distributed last week. The letter also contained a telephone number to a local news station in Houston, Texas.

Burien Press, a local coffee shop, told KIRO 7 someone dropped the letter off at that business last week. The shop’s owner said he did not see who dropped the letter off, which was found in an envelope with the initials of the black nationalist group.

"Any time there's, there are people coming into our community attempting to divide the community or calling for violence against people here, it's extremely alarming,” said Burien Press owner Matthew Wendland. “It’s concerning that people, that there’s a target on our community.”

The letter also takes aim at Burien’s status as a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

The author writes, “We are looking to replace the council members that voted in favor of Burien becoming a Sanctuary City” and also states, “We need to make it possible for (ICE) to deport the ALIENS because our quality of life is going downhill at a rapid rate.”

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