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Martin Luther King County, Washington
King County Council protects public safety and health by ensuring all residents have access to services
November 9, 2009
The Metropolitan King County Council acted today to formally adopt policies that enhance public safety and public health throughout King County. Under the legislation, all King County residents, regardless of immigration status, can now feel safe in coming forward to report crimes, assist in police investigations and seek preventive medical treatment, protecting the public at large and saving taxpayer dollars.
“I want to thank the coalition of community groups and the Executive’s Office for bringing this issue to the Council’s attention,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett, prime sponsor of the legislation. “With this legislation, we have taken one more step forward in immigration reform.”
ICE releases workers arrested in Washington raid that drew attention of Obama administration
By Associated Press, March 31, 2009
SEATTLE (AP) — Many of the 28 workers arrested by immigration agents last month in a northwest Washington raid have been released and given permission to work, in another sign of how the Obama administration is handling illegal immigration differently than its predecessor.
Supreme Court hears immigrant's ID theft case
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer, February 23, 2009
WASHINGTON - Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa, an undocumented worker from Mexico, made a curious and undeniably bad decision. After working under an assumed name for six years, he decided to use his real name and exchanged one set of phony identification numbers for another.
The change made his employer suspicious and the authorities were called in. The old numbers were made up, but the new ones he bought happened to belong to real people. Federal prosecutors said that was enough to label Flores-Figueroa an identity thief.
State GOP: No automatic citizenship for kids born in U.S. to illegal immigrants
By Andrew Garber for the Seattle Times, June 1, 2008
SPOKANE — The state Republican Party adopted a platform Saturday that includes a provision aimed at opposing automatic citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants.
The state party approved a similar platform plank at its 2006 convention that proved controversial. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizes citizenship for all persons born in the United States.
The faces of illegal immigration
For inmates, a final day in Wenatchee
By Jaime Adame for Wenatchee World, May 16, 2008
Up close, the faces of illegal immigration do not all look alike. Two were boyish, another had a beard turned mostly gray.
All six men, however, were led outside Wednesday morning to a van parked in the loading area of Chelan County Regional Justice Center.
Their lives in the days or weeks prior had included run-ins with the law and time spent in jail. Those sentences had been served, but, as a result of an aggressive federal push to identify criminal immigrants held in jails or facing charges in court, the men — all Mexican nationals — were headed from jail to a federal detention center in Tacoma.
'Sanctuary city' motion dies in Olympia City Council meeting
Matt Batcheldor for The Olympian, May 7, 2008
OLYMPIA — The Olympia City Council disregarded a resolution to make Olympia a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants and war resisters Tuesday, less than a week after a May Day rally in support of the measure erupted in violence.
The resolution would have barred the city from cooperating with federal authorities in turning over illegal immigrants or war resisters. During Tuesday's meeting, some council members criticized the violence that erupted when a group of demonstrators threw rocks and broke windows at two downtown banks, prompting six arrests. Others said the resolution was a federal issue, not a city one.
Military lawyer defends terrorism detentions in Seattle talk
Fences? We need solid immigration reform, April 30, 2008
We've consistently maintained on this page that the first step toward effective immigration reform has to be securing our southern border. But we'd like a lot more of a defined and fiscally prudent approach to meeting that goal than what the federal government has so far demonstrated.
Only last week, the federal government announced it is scrapping a $20 million prototype of a "virtual fence" on the Arizona-Mexico border because the system is failing to adequately alert border patrol agents to illegal crossings.
That's 20 as in millions and it's casually tossed aside with, "Oops, that didn't work"!
According to The Associated Press, the scuttling comes just two months after Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced his approval of the fence built by the Boeing Co. It consists of nine electronic surveillance towers along a 28-mile section of border southwest of Tucson.
Boeing is to replace the so-called Project 28 prototype with a series of towers equipped with communications systems, new cameras and new radar capability.
Military lawyer defends terrorism detentions in Seattle talk
AP, March 1, 2008
SEATTLE -- A former military lawyer says open-ended detention of terrorism suspects is a wartime necessity.
Speaking at a legal forum at Seattle University on Friday, Army Maj. Gen. John Altenburg said that international law allow countries to hold these suspects until the war is over. That keeps them from going back to the battlefield.
But Altenburg, who retired in 2206, also faults the Bush administration for not making a strong legal case to the American public.
Some legal experts at Friday's forum argued that terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts, where they would be afforded due-process rights.
Immigration Fines Going Up
KNDO/KNDU, February 25, 2008
PASCO, Wash.- Fines for businesses who knowingly employ illegal immigrants are going way up.
The federal government is proposing raising the fines by 25%, but immigration lawyer Tom Roach talked with today says in 25 years of practicing immigration law here, he's never seen a client fined.
Only once has he even had a client audited.
Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff made the announcement Friday.
Two groups clash over immigration in downtown Seattle
By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times staff reporter
A counterprotester is sprayed with pepper spray Saturday. The original protest — against illegal immigration — was planned to coincide with the Monday summit meeting of President Bush and the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
About 75 demonstrators marched against illegal immigration and a perceived threat to U.S. sovereignty through downtown Seattle on Saturday.
A slightly smaller but raucous pro-immigrant demonstration shadowed the march on Second Avenue.
The confrontation grew briefly ugly when marchers assembled for speeches outside the Federal Building. A group of fewer than 10 black-clad, masked counterprotesters marshaled behind wooden shields, threw water bombs and tried to cross the street to the main rally.
Seattle police used pepper spray to force the group back. One person was arrested afterward.
Leaders of the initial protest, including representatives of the John Birch Society and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, claim the Bush administration intends to subordinate the U.S. government to an international body that would govern all of North America, including Canada and Mexico.
The demonstration, which had a city permit, was timed to protest the Monday summit meeting in Canada of President Bush with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
On the agenda is economic and security cooperation. But Saturday's marchers see something more sinister and secret.
Billed as March for America Washington, the protest was organized by 30-year-old Jonnie Crivello, who said she works in high-tech in Seattle.
Crivello said a "world global elite" is attempting to create a "one-world government." A "North American Union" that would effectively merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico is a first step, she said.
Crivello led an eclectic crowd.
Becky Lemon, 33, was part of a contingent from Yakima concerned about illegal immigration. Marching beside her, also wearing an anti-illegal-immigrant T-shirt, was her son, Matthew Campos, 13.
What does her U.S.-born, Mexican-American husband, a police officer in Yakima, think of her protest? "I don't talk to him about it," Lemon said
Ironically, the countermarch included radical groups as opposed to globalization as were the leaders of the main protest.
"There are real problems with free trade," said Allan Paulson, president of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, "but let's not blame immigrants."
Ted Moree, 22, of Seattle, infiltrated the main march carrying a black anarchist flag and wearing a big smile as marchers tried to stop him from talking.
"I don't believe in borders. No one is illegal," Moree said.
He noted the irony that marchers on both sides oppose the idea of a North American free-trade union.
"We came to the same conclusions for radically different reasons," Moree said. "I'm afraid of CEOs exploiting workers everywhere and pitting them against each other."
The masked protesters were less congenial than Moree.
"A group hiding their faces and hiding behind shields confronted my officers," said Seattle police Lt. Jim Fitzgerald. "That's definitely a threatening gesture."
One masked youth who had just been sprayed identified himself as Michael B. and said he was from Portland. After the brief melee, his group headed up to Third Avenue carrying their shields, tailed by a posse of police on bikes.
Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org