King County has made a very special kind of list.
The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday released its first edition of a report of the cities and counties that don’t honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to hold undocumented immigrants who have been picked up in connection with crimes.
The report, called the “Declined Detainer Outcome Report,” included King and Snohomish counties in more than one place. Several other Washington counties were mentioned in the report as well.
Detainer requests are sometimes issued by ICE to local law enforcement when they take undocumented immigrants into custody. The request asks, essentially, that local law enforcement hold that person for 48 hours to potentially hand them over to ICE.
“The administration is trying to publicly shame jurisdictions by publishing this list,” said King County Councilman Joe McDermott.
The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials. How many judges will be reassigned and when they will be sent is still under review, according to the officials, but the Justice Department has begun soliciting volunteers for deployment.
King and Snohomish counties will only honor the detainer requests if ICE has a court order or warrant to hold that person, so McDermott wasn’t surprised by their places on the list (several other counties have similar policies).
But he wasn’t impressed with the report -- a product of President Donald Trump’s executive order on so-called sanctuary cities -- and he’s pushing a measure to instead support immigrants regardless of status.
Calling it the Resilience Fund, McDermott is moving a proposal to the council that would create a fund to support immigrants with legal defense, know-your-rights training and other forms of support.
Initially backed by $1 million from surplus in the King County budget and another $125,000 from the Seattle Foundation -- which would be a sort of co-overseer of the fund -- the fund would be a unique public-private partnership that could also be used for other marginalized groups, McDermott said.
“Our values are that we want people to know that they’re welcome and accepted here,” he said.
McDermott’s statement is just one of many such sentiments from King County and the city of Seattle in response to Trump’s threats to clamp down on immigrants and pull funding from cities and counties that don’t cooperate.
As orders from Trump have greatly widened the net by which immigrants might be prioritized for deportation, advocate groups have scrambled to advise people on what to do while they also begin defending the early targets of increased enforcement.
McDermott’s fund could help pay for legal assistance in some of those cases, and rights training would help immigrants better understand things, such as undocumented status alone is only a misdemeanor -- not a jail-able offense.
He hopes the public-private partnership will help leverage the funding to go much further than the initial offering.
The measure goes before a County Council committee Wednesday morning. It will need to pass out of that committee before going for a full council vote.
Daniel DeMay covers Seattle culture, business and transportation for seattlepi.com. He can be reached at 206-448-8362 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Daniel_DeMay.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.
North Korea celebrates as South Korea, US keep...
O'Reilly surprised by Fox firing, but says 'truth...
Police: Robbers in cop shooting stole food and...
Charges: Man goes on meth-fueled rampage against...
Mt. Pleasant site to undergo environmental study
The Latest: Hernandez's lawyer vows own death...
McKeesport woman charged with hiding fugitive...
Trump administration defends how it described...
Who can afford to live here? Not restaurant workers
Healdsburg City Council is poised to limit the...
Heroin overdose in bathroom leaves Connellsville...
Syria and Russia issue rebuke after U.S. airstrike