Military and Police

Despite State Sanctuary ‘Law,’ King County Jail Continued to Share Information with ICE

This story in The Seattle Times warms the cockles of my heart (not sure exactly what a cockle is, but this made them toasty). I warned that leftist sanctuary state political leaders can bring no good by setting up one law enforcement agency against another. In America, we are one family. And to keep our communities, states, and country safe at all levels, law enforcement must be able to cooperate. To do otherwise is the epitome of stupidity.

But under the guise of “protecting people’s [inmates’] privacy,” sanctuary warriors are upset that King County (WA) Jail personnel continued to cooperate with their Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) colleagues. In fact, according to The Seattle Times, since February 2018, after “King County passed a law [in compliance with a bogus sanctuary state law] prohibiting the sharing of personal information with immigration officials without a judicial warrant,” a county auditor found that on more than 1,000 occasions, ICE agents logged in to use the King County Jail database.

“The revelations highlight the sometimes stunning disconnect between policy and practice unknown even to top officials, never mind the people affected. A similar scenario happened at the state level last year, when The Seattle Times reported the state Department of Licensing was routinely sharing photos and driver’s license applications with ICE, unbeknownst to Gov. Jay Inslee, who had ordered state officials not to cooperate with immigration enforcement.” Nina Shapiro wrote. I was also gleeful at that bit of “resistance,” and wrote about it.

What rogue Governor “-1%” Jay Inslee and sidekick Bob Ferguson (Washington’s attorney general) don’t realize is troopers, police officers, deputies, and corrections officers know where their ultimate duty lies: With the people, as informed by the state and federal constitutions.

Law enforcement’s duty is not to leftist politicians who mutilate the rule of law under the pathetic auspices of petty political pandering. Every law enforcement officer knows they are not obligated to follow illegal orders—especially when they are as blatant as in these “sanctuary” cases, which have governors ordering local law enforcers to ignore federal law—and common sense.

Not surprisingly, Jorge Barón, head of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), labeled these revelations “profoundly disappointing and disturbing.” How sad for him and his criminal assistance enterprise. I’ll save my sympathy for the myriad Americans, cops and civilians, needlessly cut down by violent, criminal illegal immigrants.

And from [King] County Council Chair Rod Dembowski: “You pass a law. The executive is in charge of implementing it.” Agreed, but not a “law” that attempts to assume authority it doesn’t have. Immigration law is federal law, and the federal cops need their brothers and sisters at the state and local levels to help them do their jobs—and vice versa. You know…the job the U.S. Congress has mandated they do, which no governor has the authority to nullify.

Intentionally creating state and local laws that conflict with federal laws doesn’t have a lawful intent; it’s actually lawless. Rather than uphold, it seeks to circumvent existing federal law, creates tension between law enforcement agencies, and reduces public safety.

How many deaths at the hands of violent or reckless, criminal illegal aliens do American citizens and legal residents have to suffer before the left realizes their folly? This is lunacy. We’re not talking about illegal aliens who are otherwise obeying the law, we’re talking about illegal immigrants who are in jail.

Dembowski also said, despite the database being closed to them, ICE agents who still had access credentials continued to use them. Dembowski called this continued use a “deliberate violation of the law to get the information in any way they could.” I suppose he’d rather see the agents in his jail than the illegal aliens of whom he is apparently so fond.

In response, Tanya Roman, ICE spokeswoman, stated, “ICE does not comment on investigation techniques.” Her statement also criticized sanctuary policies, such as the ordinance passed by the County Council. “ICE maintains that cooperation by local agencies is an indispensable component of promoting public safety.” Of course, she’s right.

Dembowski wants to find out if ICE agents saved the inmate information they saw online. He also wants to know, if so, will ICE destroy it? Dembrowski is consulting with lawyers about “best practices” in such situations. Showing his concern for prisoners and illegal immigrant criminals, Dembrowski is “wondering…whether the county should notify those who had their privacy compromised,” Shapiro reported.

Hey, I have an idea for a best practice: How about stop passing stupid laws that set one law enforcement agency against another and that disrespects all people legally in America by compromising public safety? Wait…am I setting the bar too high? Probably.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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