Washington Becomes Sanctuary State

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Posted: May 23, 2019 7:30 AM
Washington Becomes Sanctuary State

Source: AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation Wednesday that turns the Evergreen State into a sanctuary state.

Under the new measure, state and local authorities will be barred from questioning individuals about their immigration status except in limited cases.

"Our state agencies are not immigration enforcement agencies," said Inslee, who’s running for president. "We will not be complicit in the Trump administration's depraved efforts to break up hard-working immigrant and refugee families."

Under the new Washington state law, local law enforcement agencies are broadly prohibited from asking about immigration status or place of birth unless directly connected to a criminal investigation, and both local jails and state prisons are prohibited from complying with voluntary “immigration holds” requested by federal authorities, or from notifying federal authorities when an immigrant is about to be released from their custody. (Associated Press)

"Our state agencies are not immigration enforcement agencies," said Inslee, who running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. "We will not be complicit in the Trump administration's depraved efforts to break up hard-working immigrant and refugee families."

Republican state Sen. Phil Fortunato, who voted against the measure, said it puts everyone in the community in harm's way. 

“This not only puts law enforcement at risk, it puts private citizens at risk,” Fortunato said.

Proponents, however, say the law will increase public safety because illegal immigrants will be more likely to report crimes or come forward as witnesses.

Wednesday’s move expands on a similar 2017 executive order, which applied only to state agencies. Now, the rules will apply to all local law enforcement.