King County ends practice of holding suspects for federal immigration authorities
King County will end the practice of detaining people accused of minor crimes for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Secure Communities program.
Effective Jan. 1, King County Jail and the Maleng Regional Justice Center will no longer hold undocumented immigrants for immigration authorities unless they have been convicted of a serious offense, such as violent assaults or sex crimes, or mid-level offenses such as residential burglary or DUIs.
The King County Council adopted the legislation Dec. 2. It passed in a 5-to-4 vote, with counCilmembers Reagan Dunn, Joe McDermott, Kathy Lambert and Pete von Reichbauer voting no.
King County routinely held immigrants at the request of ICE officials. Every arrestee’s fingerprints were automatically screened by the Department of Homeland Security to determine if these persons could be subject to deportation. (RC, “King County’s proposal to hold only violent criminals and felons for federal immigration authorities,” June 19).
If someone is flagged, ICE could request that a local jail hold the arrestee for an additional 48 hours so that agents could transport the suspect to a detention center.
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