Sound Alliance Reaches Agreement on ICE Detainer Requests in King County

Roberta Ray of University Unitarian Church in Seattle pins King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski300 leaders of the Sound Alliance and their allies reached an agreement with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski to support an ordinance that would change how the County handles ICE “detainer requests”.  Under current practice, when undocumented immigrants are arrested and taken to the County Jail, ICE often sends requests to the jail to hold them at County expense until ICE can transfer them to a nearby for-profit immigrant detention center.  Under the ordinance, the County will stop honoring these requests except when an individual has been convicted of certain violent or serious crimes.

People from a diverse mix of faith, labor, and community organizations at the assembly were excited to have an opportunity to strike a blow against our nation’s unjust immigration policy at a local level.  King County has a population of over 2 million residents and includes the City of Seattle.

In photo, Sound Alliance leader Roberta Ray of University Unitarian Church receives a positive commitment from King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski.

[February 2014 Update: The largest jail in Washington state will now no longer honor "detainer requests" to hold undocumented immigrants accused of minor crimes for transfer by ICE to a nearby for-profit detention center.  The new law passed a crucial test when a father accused of a petty offense was allowed to return to his family.]