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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County, City of Seattle to DOJ: We will follow our values

Summary

The U.S. Department of Justice on July 25 announced a series of requirements attached to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne grants). Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Ed Murray rejected the conditions and said local policies towards immigration enforcement will continue.

Story

In an effort to force local governments to enforce federal immigration laws, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to pull Byrne grants that have funded law enforcement and related programs across the country. Byrne grants are awarded to the City of Seattle, whicSeattle-logo_horizontal_blue-black_digital_smallh divides the funds with King County and other local cities.

King County was awarded a total of $203,000 last year to fund programs to reduce recidivism. The City of Seattle received $248,000 that supported crime prevention coordinators in the Seattle Police Department.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced three requirements that conflict with King County practices and policies.

NEW FEDERAL REQUIREMENT: Certify compliance with section 1373, a federal statute applicable to state and local governments that generally bars restrictions on communications between state and local agencies and officials at the Department of Homeland Security
CURRENT KING COUNTY POLICY: King County has always been in compliance with U.S. Code Section 1373. As it relates to immigration enforcement, King County does not ask people for their immigration status and does not collect immigration information.

NEW FEDERAL REQUIREMENT: Permit personnel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to access any detention facility in order to meet with an alien and inquire as to his or her right to be or remain in the United States
CURRENT KING COUNTY POLICY: King County requires federal law enforcement officers to obtain a judicial criminal warrant to interview anyone in detention.

NEW FEDERAL REQUIREMENT: Provide at least 48 hours advance notice to DHS regarding the scheduled release date and time of an alien in the jurisdiction’s custody when DHS requests such notice in order to take custody of the alien
CURRENT KING COUNTY POLICY: King County does not ask immigration status of detainees, and thus cannot provide this information to DHS.

"As the Trump Administration tries to bully local governments into imprisoning people without judicial due process, we will stand by our values and the Constitution," said Executive Dow Constantine. "The Justice Department threatens programs that have tremendous value to our community, but we will continue to follow the rule of law rather than the extrajudicial orders of any person, including the President."

 

"The attorney general's latest attempt to bully Seattle out being a Welcoming and Constitutional City disregards our commitment to equality and inclusion, and how threatens to undermine Seattle's dedication to public safety," said Mayor Ed Murray. "Taking federal grants away from the SPD weakens law enforcement and puts extreme stress on our community as a whole. But just as we sued the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions over their reckless anti-immigrant policies earlier this year, we will continue to stand up for what is right." 


Quotes

As the Trump Administration tries to bully local governments into imprisoning people without judicial due process, we will stand by our values and the Constitution. The Justice Department threatens programs that have tremendous value to our community, but we will continue to follow the rule of law rather than the extrajudicial orders of any person, including the President.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

The attorney general's latest attempt to bully Seattle out being a Welcoming and Constitutional City disregards our commitment to equality and inclusion, and how threatens to undermine Seattle's dedication to public safety. Taking federal grants away from the SPD weakens law enforcement and puts extreme stress on our community as a whole. But just as we sued the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions over their reckless anti-immigrant policies earlier this year, we will continue to stand up for what is right.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography