Immigration is a hotly debated issue in Washington State and across the United States. Even with fundamental changes to the nation’s leadership and policies, there are continued debates regarding immigrants.
In Washington State, a law passed in 2019 was designed to protect certain segments of the immigrant population. However, despite the presence of the Keep Washington Working Act, there are allegations that law enforcement throughout the state is violating it. For people who are dealing with legal issues because of this or are worried that they or a family member could be investigated, it is imperative to be protected.
Researchers find state immigration law violations among law enforcement
The law prohibits law enforcement from providing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with information about individuals and leading to their arrest and deportation. According to the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, some agencies are still sharing the information and flouting the law. The only circumstance in which people can be kept in local jails for a federal immigration issue is if a judge has signed a warrant.
Law enforcement cannot share vital information – like a release date and their place of birth – with ICE. ICE is also prohibited from interviewing people who are being held if there is no written consent to do so.
Examples of behaviors on the part of law enforcement in apparent violation of this law include giving information to federal officials if a foreign national is in custody; giving information about inmates; and letting ICE into the jails where these individuals are being held. Some counties are actively trying to find ways to permanently circumvent the law and share information with ICE.
Experienced guidance may help with ICE investigations
Immigration remains a complex challenge throughout the nation. As this research shows, state laws designed to protect immigrants are not always followed and people can face deportation and other problems because of it. Immigrants can be deported for many reasons and some of the most prominent involve accusations of criminal behavior.
Even those who might be innocent of the charges for which they were arrested could be confronted with an ICE investigation. Having a legal defense in these circumstances is essential and those who may be negatively impacted by these violations should have immediate assistance.