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Immigration Law

Court Rules Law Enforcement Can't Prolong Stop to Question an Individual About Immigration Status

"In a victory for fair treatment of immigrants, Pierce County Superior Court has found that local law enforcement officers cannot prolong a detention to question individuals about their immigration status, citizenship status, and/or country of origin. The ruling came in a lawsuit (Ramirez-Rangel v. Kitsap County) filed in January 2012 by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of three individuals who were unlawfully detained so that Kitsap County Sheriffs could question them about and investigate their immigration status. In its Order, the Court gave guidance to all local law enforcement by finding that the Washington State Constitution “forbids local enforcement officers from prolonging a detention to investigate or engage in questioning about an individual’s immigration status, citizenship status and/or national origin.” " - NWIRP, Sept. 17, 2013.