Help Keep Washington Working!

Thanks to our friends at the Washington Immigration Solidarity Network (WAISN) from whom we've adapted today's daily action. To learn more about them, please visit their website at https://waimmigrantsolidaritynetwork.org/

Last month, we told you about a bill that was making its way through the Washington State Legislature that would protect immigrant workers in our state by preventing state agencies from engaging in immigration enforcement. This bill, SB 5497, the Keep Washington Working Act (KWW), would also prevent local police from enforcing immigration laws without due process.

KWW was voted out of the Senate chamber 30-16, with bipartisan support. The next step in the legislative process is coming up on Friday, March 22nd at 10 a.m., when it will be heard in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.

If you can make it to Olympia on Friday morning, the hearing will be in House Hearing Room A. https://app.leg.wa.gov/committeeschedules/Home/Documents/25525?//902

If not, please send a message to your representatives asking them to support this bill!

Today's Action: Ask your representatives to Support Keep Washington Working

You can call, post a comment, or both. A sample script is provided below.

Make a Call

Dial the Washington Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. They make it super easy to leave feedback, and they are always nice on the phone.

If you want to find your representatives in advance, you can find them here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/

Post a Comment

  1. Visit: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/5497

  2. Fill in your address

  3. Add a comment. Feel free to use or adapt our sample script!

Sample Script

Hi - I'm asking you to support SB 5497, Keep Washington Working, which is being discussed by the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee today. Please help make sure it is voted out of committee. Nearly one million Washingtonians – one in every seven people in this state – are immigrants, and they are an integral part of our communities and workforce that keep our state’s economy booming. I believe that this bill protects vulnerable and marginalized communities, strengthens our economy, and maintains critical public safety resources. SB 5497 protects the privacy and civil rights of all Washington residents. Please support this bill so we can Keep Washington Working.

Background

Why we need KWW

  • 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, non-citizens are less likely to report crimes or appear as witnesses, making all of us less safe.

Here's what KWW does

  • Restricts state agencies from aiding immigration enforcement. The state agencies include the Department of Licensing, the Department of Social and Health Services, and the Washington State Patrol.

  • 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.

Background on KWW: https://yakimaresponsenetwork.org/community-support/advocacy/keep-washington-working/