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Immigration Law

Seattle Limits ICE Detainers

"Moments ago, the King County Council passed an ordinance (2013-0285) that would establish clear guidelines for local law enforcement's involvement in federal immigration enforcement and make our communities safer. The ordinance, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Joe McDermott, and Larry Phillips, passed by a vote of 5-4 after nearly three years of research, advocacy, and legislative process and represents one of the strongest such bills in the country.

Several of the largest civil rights and immigrant rights advocacy organizations in Washington advocated in support of the bill, including ACLU of Washington, Casa Latina, King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCCADV), Northwest Defenders Association, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, OneAmerica, Sound Alliance, University Unitarian Church, Washington CAN!, and Washington Defender Association.

The following is a statement by Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica:

"OneAmerica applauds the bipartisan majority of the King County Council, especially our champion Councilmember Gossett, for passing one of the strongest bills in the country protecting local communities and immigrant families from devastating ICE hold requests. Once again, Martin Luther King Jr. County is a national leader in creating a policy which allows all residents, regardless of immigration status, to feel comfortable reporting a crime or seeking protection from the police. We also celebrate key allies and supporters who worked together and kept the faith during an arduous, nearly three-year effort. We’re already looking to other jurisdictions across Washington State that could pass similar, sensible policies that improve public safety and keep families together."

The following is a statement by Ann Benson, OneAmerica board member and Directing Attorney, WA Defender Association's Immigration Project:

"Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Gossett and his co-sponsors, as well as the support of Sheriff Urquhart and the many community organizations that participated in this effort, King County has now joined the growing chorus of state and local jurisdictions that are using their own authority to rein in the unnecessary and harsh impacts of the federal government’s misguided enforcement policies and practices. The evidence is clear that these ICE practices with regard to immigration detainer requests undermine public safety, do little to fix our broken immigration system, and devastate our families and communities. This ordinance sends a clear message that King County will no longer collude in funneling its residents into an unjust deportation system."" - OneAmerica, Dec. 2, 2013.