This is part of a statewide coordinated effort.
The Washington State Legislature is considering a bill that would protect immigrant workers in our state by preventing state agencies from engaging in immigration enforcement. The Keep Washington Working Act (KWW) would also prevent local police from enforcing immigration laws without due process.
Pass SB 5497 and HB 1815 to Keep Washington Working!
WHY DO WE NEED IT?
• 1 in 7 Washington workers—nearly one million people—are immigrants. Keep Washington Working would help them go to their jobs safely, without risking their families, homes, and lives in an arbitrary immigration arrest and/or deportation.
• KWW would help businesses across the state through strong worker protections, encouraging new businesses to relocate to the state.
• KWW would promote public safety by helping crime victims feel safe enough to call their local police department, thus relieving the terror and harm that immigrants and their families across Washington are currently enduring.
• We are a welcoming state that proudly stands against family separation and strongly believe no agency should collude in that inhumane process.
• In the first 3 months of 2017, ICE arrested over 5,000 noncitizens who posed no threat to public safety.
When local police are viewed as an extension of the immigration system, noncitizens are less likely to report crimes or appear as witnesses, making all of us less safe.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
• Restricts state agencies from aiding immigration enforcement. The state agencies include the Department of Licensing (DOL), the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and the Washington State Patrol (WSP).
• Prevents local police from enforcing immigration laws, unless they have a judge’s approval (Judicial Warrant or Subpoena).
• Protects crime victims, and lets local police focus on the community’s own public safety priorities. Protects people from unwarranted immigration checks and immigration arrests by local safety officers. Requires the Attorney General to create policies that protect public and private facilities from ICE, including schools, hospitals, courthouses, and shelters.
• Prevents jails from holding anyone past the end of their sentence.
• Creates a workgroup comprised of labor, immigrant rights advocacy groups, business and government agencies in a statewide effort to provide stability to the workforce in the agricultural sector.
𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡: Tell Olympia: Pass the KWW
• Please file a public comment on the senate bill at the state legislature's website. Senator Jamie Pedersen chairs the Law & Justice Committee that is hearing the KWW Act. He is supportive of this bill.
• Please file a public comment on the house bill at the state legislature's website (this bill has one Republican co-sponsor, from central Washington). House Speaker Frank Chopp will determine if the bill makes it to the floor of the House for a vote. He says he will not hold it up for a vote if they have the votes to pass it. Rep. Nicole Macri supports the bill.
As a constituent I urge you to pass the strongest possible version of the Keep Washington Working Act (SB 5497 or HB 1815). Indiscriminate federal immigration enforcement has created uncertainty and fear for immigrants, their families, and their employers. Using state resources to help with this enforcement reduces trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. This diminishes public safety, damages our economy, and wastes our tax dollars. We want immigrants in our community to feel safe calling 911, testifying to police, and serving as witnesses. KWW provides strong safeguards and sends a clear message to all Washington residents that they are welcome in our communities.