Tag Archives: Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Washington state governor gives $1.2 million taxpayer dollars to assist illegal aliens

gov insleee

Don’t let the lack of the word “illegal” in this story fool you. Gov. Inslee has, in effect, turned Washington state into a sanctuary state.

From MyNorthwest.com: Just hours after President Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the U.S.-Mexico border, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee called the policy child abuse and announced he will give $1.2 million to support Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s civil legal aid services.

The money will be used to defend immigrant rights and to help families reunite.

“We know that this was an intentional infliction of abusive behavior to punish innocent children,” Inslee said. “It is a form of child abuse.”

The governor said that everyone is entitled to a fair and due process, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

As for Trump’s executive order, Inslee said it’s too late. The damage has been done. “We have more than 2,300 children separated from their parents today,” Inslee said.

The governor said Trump’s administration has lied about the separation of children from their parents, why they did what they did to the children, lied about who is responsible, and lied about what it will take to reunite families.

Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen for answers about why the policy was enacted and about the location of the children and parents. He said they have not received answers.

Trump said on Wednesday, “We are keeping families together.” But he added the “zero tolerance” policy will continue.

Vice President Mike Pence added that they are calling upon Congress to change the laws. Trump added that the word “compassion” comes into it.

The president has been trying to win over congressional support on immigration amid a crisis along the border involving the separation of immigrant children from their families.

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Illegal alien charged in Tukwila murder had been on ICE radar for months

sanctuary now

This illegal alien had previously been deported four times and now sits in King County Regional Justice Center on a $2M bail.  Tukwila is in King County, which known for protecting illegals.

From KOMO TV: A Tukwila man accused of killing his cousin had been on the radar of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for months.

Rosalio Ramos-Ramos, 37, was being sought by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) late last year and was almost turned over when an apparent lack of communication between police and Harborview Medical Center resulted in his discharge from the Seattle trauma hospital, Kent police said.

Chief Ken Thomas said police arrested Ramos-Ramos in October after he reported being involved in a sexual assault. Officers did not find any evidence of an assault, but found a drug pipe and a small amount of methamphetamine on Ramos-Ramos. They booked him into the Kent Jail in connection with misdemeanor drug possession, Thomas said.

Once at the jail Ramos-Ramos told officers he wanted to die then started fighting with corrections staff. Ramos-Ramos he said was taken to a nearby hospital then to Harborview for a head injury, according to Thomas.

While Ramos-Ramos was at Harborview police learned his identity. Thomas said officers were soon contacted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We initially did not reach out to ICE,” Thomas said. “They looked out at the booking log, saw he was in custody and they reached out to us.”

According to ICE, hospitals are “sensitive locations,” places they don’t take enforcement action unless exigent circumstances exist.

Jorge Baron, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, says he’s seen ICE take people into custody at hospitals. “The general policy of ICE about the fact there are some situations and locations where they’re generally not going to make arrests, but there are exceptions to that policy,” Baron said.

Kent police said they called Harborview daily to keep tabs on Ramos Ramos, but he was released without them knowing.

An ICE spokeswoman told KOMO over the phone Friday that the agency didn’t have information on the Tukwila man. When asked about why ICE didn’t put an officer at the hospital to watch over Ramos Ramos, she questioned why Kent police didn’t do the same.

Thomas told KOMO he has a small department and can’t take an officer off the streets for several days to watch over a man accused of committing misdemeanor crimes in his city. He said they promised to keep tabs on Ramos Ramos on behalf of ICE by calling the hospital. He said they planned to pick the man up once he was discharged and turn him over to the feds.

“I believe this person needed to be off the streets. He had been deported four times prior, he is a convicted felon and he’s a very violent person,” Thomas told KOMO during an interview on Thursday.

Harborview, in a statement, said they had no duty to give information to police over the phone. “When we care for patients who are incarcerated or under the custody of law enforcement, it is the role of the law enforcement agency to guard the patient while they are hospitalized. This particular patient was not under guard when he was released from the medical center last fall after five days of hospitalization. We also follow federal privacy laws that dictate the amount and type of patient medical information that we can release.”

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole said in the second-degree murder charges he filed against Ramos-Ramos that the man has multiple aliases and birthdates. He told KOMO that the man’s green card appears to be fraudulent.

h/t Weasel Zippers

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Spokane decides to outlaw immigration detention by police

illegal immigration

From NBC News: The city of Spokane has agreed to change its policies to make clear that police officers will not question or detain people to enforce federal immigration laws. That’s part of a final settlement the city reached Tuesday in federal court with the ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The case stems from a 2014 traffic accident when the vehicle of Gabriel Gomez was struck by a minivan that failed to yield the right of way.  A Spokane police officer responded and contacted the U.S. Border Patrol to ask whether the agency had any interest in Gomez.

The officer issued a ticket to the other driver and then let that driver leave the scene. However, the officer detained Gomez until the Border Patrol arrived and took him into custody.

“I have lived in this community for many years, and to suddenly have the police turn against me after being a victim in the accident really turned my life upside down,” Gomez said in a press release. “I want to be able to trust the police.”

City officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.  Spokane is Washington’s second-largest city with about 210,000 residents.

Gomez was eventually transferred by immigration officials to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where he remained until he posted bond. Gomez is seeking legal status to remain in this country, the ACLU said.

The lawsuit contended the officer unlawfully detained Gomez for purposes of investigating his immigration status and prolonged his detention to assist federal officers. The lawsuit also alleged that city policies unlawfully authorized officers to take such actions.

As part of the settlement, the city agreed to modify its policies to clarify that police officers “shall not contact, question, delay, detain or arrest an individual because s/he is suspected of violating immigration laws,” the settlement said.

ACLU Washington issued this statement on their web site:

“This is an important step towards ensuring that all community members receive equal treatment from police officials,” said Matt Adams, Legal Director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). “The changed policies will help the City to move forward in working to serve all the community members, regardless of their perceived immigration status.”

“We’re pleased that the City has recognized the need to change its policies to prevent such unfair treatment of immigrants in the future,” said Enoka Herat, ACLU of Washington Police Practices and Immigrant Rights Counsel.

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Tacoma should spend $440,000 a year to defend residents facing deportation, task force says

amanda dias ups photo

Amanda Diaz: Wants to spend taxpayer dollars on illegal aliens/Photo from University of Puget Sound website

How about no.

From Seattle Times (by Candice Ruud): A task force created to focus on the needs of immigrants and refugees (aka illegal aliens) in Tacoma has recommended the City Council spend $440,000 per year to establish a legal-defense fund for Tacoma residents detained at the Northwest Detention Center.

The money would pay for two attorneys and two paralegals who would represent people facing deportation, said Amanda Diaz, a member of the task force and student president at the University of Puget Sound. Another option would be to spend half that money for one lawyer and paralegal to provide some measure of legal representation to detained people, Diaz said.

The recommendation comes seven months after the task force was created and at a time of heightened awareness over federal immigration policy. Stepped-up deportation efforts that have followed President Donald Trump’s inauguration have created emotional and financial strain for many Tacoma families, she said.

Unlike in criminal cases where defendants are represented by a publicly funded attorney if they can’t afford one, people facing deportation are not guaranteed a lawyer, according to the American Immigration Council. This year, the city of Seattle committed $1 million to paying for legal defense for immigrants and refugees, and officials there said they would seek ways to continue that funding in the future.

Members of a Tacoma City Council committee who received the task force’s recommendation this month were receptive to the idea but not ready to implement it. They requested more information from the task force and city staff about how the money would be spent.

“This is coming to us a little less fleshed out than we normally have policies coming to us. Normally we have a lot more of these questions answered,” Councilman Marty Campbell said. “I think we should do this, but first let’s explore it and figure out how.”

An attorney for the Tacoma office of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project told members of the council’s Community Vitality and Safety Committee that the need for legal representation for detainees at the Northwest Detention Center is pressing.

Having access to a lawyer throughout the legal process would improve their chances of not being deported and keep their families intact, attorney Tim Warden-Hertz said.

Each year, 50 to 100 Tacoma residents are detained at the Northwest Detention Center, he said.

“Enforcement has changed — enforcement year over year has increased 40 percent over last year for people in the Northwest, for people in our area,” Warden-Hertz said. “That’s what has changed and that’s what this administration has meant for families in Tacoma — it’s meant more families being torn apart. That’s why I think this feels so important right now.”

Diaz said there are other downsides to increased deportation efforts.

“There has been a decrease in reporting crimes by immigrants for fear of (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids. There have been parents scared to drop off their kids at school for fear of ICE involvement in government buildings,” she said. “Various members of the task force have identified families left homeless because the main breadwinner is being detained at the Northwest Detention Center. Children are entering the foster-care system because one or both of their parents are detained.”

Most members of the Vitality and Safety committee agreed there is a need for a legal-defense fund for immigrants, but they also said there are needs for other corners of Tacoma’s population, such as those facing eviction proceedings.

Task-force members also recommended that the city create a standing commission on immigration and refugee affairs that would deal with issues unique to that community.

They also asked the City Council to take immediate steps to provide equitable language access for a variety of languages across all city services. Access to language and translation services was identified last year as a major barrier for Latino residents working to integrate into Tacoma life, council members pointed out.

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