Inslee signs order limiting Washington state’s help in enforcing Trump’s immigration policies


OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at restricting state workers and agencies from helping enforce federal immigration laws.

“This executive order makes clear that Washington will not be a willing participant in promoting or carrying out mean-spirited policies that break up families and compromise our national security and, importantly, our community safety,” Inslee said.

Nick Brown, Inslee’s general counsel, said Thursday’s executive order helps clarify for state workers what they can and can’t do regarding immigrants and refugees.

“What we’ve seen over the last month or so is a lot of confusion, about what is the proper role of state actors and state law enforcement,” Brown said. “It doesn’t dramatically change existing state law or existing state policies, but it does bring some really needed clarity around those issues.”

The order directs state agencies to refrain from inquiring about a person’s immigration status for the sole purpose of determining whether someone has complied with immigration laws, such as those related to work permits or alien registration.

The order maintains the State Patrol’s existing policy of not stopping, detaining or interrogating people solely to determine their immigration status, said Kyle Moore, State Patrol spokesman.

Likewise, state agencies under the order are not allowed to aid or enforce any federal program to register people on their basis of religion.

The order is part of a broader, nationwide push in states, aimed at limiting the federal government’s agenda on refugees and immigrants under the Trump administration.


Part of me wants to applaud the spirit of federalism and I have no doubt that this order represents the will of the majority of the citizens in Washington. BUT…it’s not for governors to make determinations on matters of national security. Nor is it the place of governors or anybody related with government to view part of their job function as determining whether a law or policy is “mean spirited”. It’s legal or isn’t.

The problem with this stance is that the state of Washington isn’t guaranteeing that illegal immigrants remain in their state: they may end up in Oregon, Idaho, Montana or any other state. Some of those states may not support the immigration order. Then what?

The governor of Washington cannot take actions in the interest of national security because he/she is not subject to a national election, nor does he/she get the briefings/intelligence/security information that the president receives.


So… it’s an order to obstruct the rule of law by avoiding the opportunity to find those who are breaking it?

Oh, brother.


I believe it is just an order to not enforce federal law, which is really the responsibility of the federal government anyway. This lack of cooperation is what one gets with fiats and unilateral action. It was the same with Texas and Obama. Maybe one day we will get a president with the skill to compromise and bring America together somewhat.


I don’t want a president to unite or bring us together. I would like a president that actually believes in devloution of power, subsidiarity. The federal government should limit itself only to functions that cannot be addressed at the state levels; states should limit themselves only to functions that cannot be addressed at the county levels…etc.


Devolution is where we are headed in this reactionary administration. So Washington is exercising subsidiarity in their lack of assistance to any immigration initiative. Perfect.


Specifically, it prohibits state employees from intentionally creating new databanks that could later be used for “rounding up” immigrants (nothing wrong with prohibiting such databanks, IMHO). It forbids the Washington National Guard and the Washington State Patrol from being used as arms of a Federal “roundup” (okay with that too). It maintains the confidentiality of public school data, the drivers’ license database, the Employment Security database, the DSHS database, and the state industrial insurance database. It draws a line in the sand. It is not secession. It is adherence to the civil rights laws enacted by Congress and as interpreted by the courts, and the rights to privacy drawn from Supreme Court rulings. Check out our local news at KOMO, KING, and KIRO for more information than is shown in the national press report.

Inslee, by the way, is a Democrat. I am sure our local Republicans will howl.


Here are the effective points in the order itself. Show me where the governor is countermanding any federal law related to national security:

*1.The state of Washington shall remain a welcoming jurisdiction that embraces diversity with compassion and tolerance and recognizes the value of immigrants;
2.Executive and small cabinet agencies shall continue to provide assistance and services to Washingtonians, regardless of citizenship or legal status, to the extent allowed by law;
3.No executive or small cabinet agency may discriminate against a person based on the person’s national origin in violation of RCW 49.60.030;
4.No executive or small cabinet agency may condition provision of services or benefits upon a resident’s immigration status, except as required by international, federal or state law;
5.Executive and small cabinet agencies shall ensure their policies comply with Executive Order 16-01, Privacy Protection and Transparency in State Government, and that information collected from clients is limited to that necessary to perform agency duties.
Policies must ensure that information regarding a person’s immigration or citizenship status or place of birth shall not be collected, except as required by federal or state law or state agency policy;
6.No executive or small cabinet agency may inquire into, or request specific documents, in order to ascertain a person’s immigration status for the sole purpose of identifying if a person has complied with federal civil immigration laws, including passports, alien registration, or work permits, except as required by federal or state law;
7.No executive or small cabinet agency may use agency or department monies, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to enforce, or assist in the enforcement or creation of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of religious affiliation, except as required by federal or state law;
8.No executive or small cabinet agency may use agency or department monies, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel for the purpose of targeting or apprehending persons for violation of federal civil immigration laws, except as required by federal or state law or otherwise authorized by the Governor; and
9.The Washington State Patrol or Department of Corrections, or other executive or small cabinet agency with arrest powers, will act consistently with current federal law and shallnot arrest solely for violation of federal civil immigration laws, except as otherwise required by federal or state law or authorized by the Governor. Specifically, no agency may enter into any agreements with the federal government authorizing such authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §1357).

This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or entitlement for any person, nor does it create a cause of action against the state of Washington; This Executive Order is intended to be consistent with 8 U.S.C. §1373. Should federal or state law change so as to give rise to a conflict with this Executive Order, such provision of this Executive Order shall be inoperative to the sole extent of the conflict.
This order is effective immediately.*


It’s quite probable that there are FBI offices, U.S.Marshalls’ offices and federal prosecutors’ offices in the state of Washington. Given that the governor of Washington seems to think law enforcement is a state prerogative entirely, perhaps the federal government should simply close the federal law enforcement offices in that state. That would save federal money and they could sell the office buildings.

After all, if Washington is capable of dealing adequately with illegal immigration in its own way, it can surely do so in cases of white collar crime, incendiarism, drug racketeering, bomb plots, gun trafficking, bank fraud, interstate car theft rings, insurance fraud, securities fraud, organized crime, and any number of similar things.

The feds would want to give the governor adequate notice, of course; perhaps 90 days.

The feds would want to keep the IRS offices in operation, of course.



First, the governor’s own words cited the threat to national security. Provision 9. of the order specifically states that WSP and DOC will not arrest solely for violation of federal civil immigration laws. The POTUS, wrongly in my opinion but legally under the Constitution, has the power to determine immigration policies. Do I agree with the order? No, of course not. But the ninth circuit, which is an activist court and as oft cited is oft reputed by the SCOTUS, didn’t even reference the relevant provision regarding presidential exercise of power in immigration issues.

That’s low hanging fruit.


It’s where we should always be heading. May democrats maintain this spirit next time one of their own executive order loving, wrong headed politicians inhabits the WH.


You left off the words “except as otherwise required by federal or state law or authorized by the Governor.” Therefore it does not countermand any federal law. All it says is they are not going to bend over backwards to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law, unless that assistance is required by federal law.


The President should proclaim the “Inslee Rule” in response, limiting federal aid to state and local governments in Washington state.


If he wants another court loss then sure, he should.




Is it something in the water? I don’t think so. I am drinking it too. I think Jay Inslee has lost his mind. The whole Western part of the state has. It is nauseating.


Mean spirited?
Man, liberals can’t even talk tough when they try.

Actually, I have no problem with this. If state agencies don’t want to help the Feds, fine.
As long as the state police follow the law I’m good with the whole thing.
And the gov is speaking for both sides of the cascades with this one. The ag side and the liberal side.
He is wrong, but he is wrong for his people.


That would be just, if they would allow a corresponding tax abatement. The error of limiting federal aid is that the money that is sent is money that comes from the citizens of the state. That is why at least one of Obama’s threat of withdrawing federal aid was overruled by the courts.

Do yo also think Obama should have withheld federal funds for states who did not comply with his transgender bathroom mandate?


I seem to remember the executive order did provide for a withhold of Title IX funding for states that didn’t comply with the transgender bathroom order. And I don’t remember a corresponding tax abatement involved. It would be foolish of Trump to disregard the precedent.


If he (and you) supported that move by President Obama, you would be right. Justice if not partisan, hence the blindfold.

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