Wash. governor orders agencies to ignore immigration requests

Wash. governor orders agencies to ignore immigration requests
© File Photo
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Thursday signed an executive order blocking state law enforcement agencies from detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of federal officials, days after the Trump administration began ramping up immigration enforcement actions.
 
Inslee’s order prevents state agencies from discriminating against or refusing service to those in living the country illegally. It also blocks those agencies from spending state resources to create or enforce a registry of citizens on the basis of religious affiliation.
 
The order blocks the Washington State Patrol and the state Department of Corrections from detaining anyone solely on the basis of immigration status.
 
“This executive order makes clear that Washington will not be a willing participant in promoting or carrying out mean-spirited policies that break up families and compromise our national security and, importantly, our community safety,” Inslee said at a press conference Thursday. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
One provision of the Trump administration's new immigration guidelines, issued Tuesday, directs the Department of Homeland Security and immigration enforcement agencies to enlist local law enforcement agencies in efforts to enforce federal immigration law. There is no federal law requiring local agencies to adhere to those guidelines.
 
State agencies’ “role is to fulfill missions of providing services to Washingtonians, not enforcing immigration statuses,” Inslee said.
 
State law enforcement agencies will continue to honor federal arrest warrants, he added.
 
In an interview with The Hill in December before Trump took office, Inslee pledged to protect as many undocumented Washingtonians as possible — including so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. as children.
 
“We’re going to do everything we can to let the president know that he should keep his hands off our Huskies and our Cougars and our Eagles and our Vikings,” Inslee said, referring to students at the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University and Western Washington University.
 
Inslee is the second Democratic governor in recent days to act in response to the Trump administration’s executive order. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) on Wednesday ordered agencies in his state to refuse detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.