Here are 9 reasons to support Initiative 2017-07 Concerning Immigration:
1. This Initiative emanates from the Executive Order of Governor Jay Inslee and the guidance of two prominent Attorneys General, Eric Schneiderman of New York, and Bob Ferguson of Washington. We aim to protect and preserve the rights of all people, including immigrants. Attorney General Ferguson has encouraged counties to get involved and to refuse to be conscripted into the efforts of ICE to deprive residents of their civil rights and liberties.
2. This Initiative allows everyone to be treated fairly by San Juan County (SJC) government agencies, including law enforcement, regardless of race, immigration status, nationality, ability to speak, read, write, or understand English. Currently, well-intentioned SJC law enforcement can ask people they suspect of being from other countries for information about their immigration status. Although some of our current county officials promise that they will not pry into immigration matters, we need an ordinance that will make that protection permanent, no matter who our elected officials are.
3. This Initiative protects our neighbors by preventing SJC from collecting information that can be given to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including CBP and ICE and further deportation.
4. This Initiative requires the County Prosecutor to contest ICE requests for information unless there is a legal reason to comply.
5. This Initiative requires DHS, including CBP and ICE, to obtain a Judicial warrant based on ‘probable cause’ to take custody of a person being held by SJC.
6. This Initiative does not oppose arrests for the commission of Federal or state crimes. Rather, it prevents our officers, who are people with good hearts and minds and who keep our island communities safe, from getting caught up in civil Federal civil matters that are issues for the Federal government not county government. We don’t have county employees collecting federal income taxes or stopping postal fraud.
7. The Initiative prohibits the SJC Sheriff and deputies from helping ICE and CBP to deport members of SJC community. The Initiative requires SJC employees to work for SJC only, and not work for DHS.
8. This Initiative reduces fear among immigrants who do not understand th difference between County, State, and Federal authorities and legal systems. If an undocumented woman is violently attacked, her first thoughts will not be to call the police. Her first thought is more likely to be “What will happen if the police find I am undocumented?”. A victim should feel equally secure in reporting a crime, whether or not she is documented. SJC protects all crime victims, whether they are residents of the county or not, and therefore should protect people regardless of their immigration status. This Initiative furthers the health and safety our community so that anyone can report a crime without fear and everyone is ruled by the same governing principles and laws.
9.This Initiative protects San Juan County from lawsuits and charges of racial profiling.