• Seattle Representatives propose Dignity Act for immigrants; ICE calls for cooperation

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    The Acting Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement today led a nationwide push to publicize sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse routine cooperation with ICE agents.

    He complains that his officers don't get help from sanctuary cities when they want to track down undocumented immigrants who could be a danger to the community. 

    King County was near the top of his list.

    "King County Washington, Chicago, New York City ... you may be the first we're calling out, but you won't be the last. This needs to stop," Matthew Albence said.

    Under King County's sanctuary rules, corrections officers don't share an inmate's immigration status with ICE or tip off ICE agents when someone is about to leave custody.

    "Who are these sanctuary cities really protecting? The answer, sadly, and often tragically, are criminal aliens," he said.

    But local law enforcement officers believe immigrants are more likely to help fight crime when they don't fear that they or a family member will be deported.

    And today two Seattle Congressmembers were focused on the conditions immigrants face while they wait for legal status.

    Democratic Representatives Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal introduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act.

    "We must reject President Trump's cruel and callous policies that have generated an unprecedented surge in immigration detention and embrace humane sensible policies," said Jayapal

    When KIRO 7 was invited to tour the privately-run ICE detention center in Tacoma earlier this month, leaders stressed that they offered humane treatment. But activists painted a picture of underpaid labor and inadequate food. The new proposal is aimed at making sure detainees receive due process.

    Smith said the proposal, "…increases the transparency. It puts in place a standard of care and perhaps most importantly it includes immigrant rights organizations and immigrants in the process of determining what that care should be."


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