Law officers won't enforce "sanctuary state" edict

Roger Harnack

Gov. Jay Inslee is facing a new uprising against policies imposed on Eastern Washington by westside Democrats.
Earlier this year, county sheriffs in nearly every county east of the Cascade Mountains openly vowed not to enforce gun-control Initiative 1639, which was backed by Inslee and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
This time, law enforcement momentum is building in opposition to Senate Bill 5497, signed into law last month by the governor.
The bill introduced by Mercer Island Democrat Lisa Wellman essentially makes Washington a so-called “sanctuary state” for illegal aliens. In general, the bill prohibits state and local agencies, including law enforcement, from asking about immigration status and cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Inslee signed Senate Bill 5497 into law shortly after Kittitas County deputy Ryan Thompson was gunned down by illegal alien Flores Del Toro. Del Toro entered the country legally, but overstayed his work visa, records show.
But opposition to the new law is popping up among law enforcement in Eastern Washington.
In only a week's time, Republic Police Chief Loren Culp, Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond, Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher
and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich all said they will continue their normal practices of providing information on illegal aliens to border agents and will continue to cooperate with them on immigration-related and other issues.
All four were among law enforcement leaders who earlier this year rejected enforcement of I-1639 provisions.
That law, approved mostly on the strength of voters in the metropolitan Puget Sound region, makes it illegal for adults under 21 to buy semi-automatic rifles, re-defines those firearms as “assault rifles,” enacts new requirements on dealers and makes gun owners criminally liable for incidents involving their weapon, even if it was stolen.
The new uprising comes as Inslee is galavanting around the country stumping for a possible stage position in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary.
It also comes and President Trump pushes for tariffs on Mexican products as leverage for that nation to control its borders and slow illegal immigration pouring into the U.S. from Mexico.
While the bill declares Washington a "sanctuary state," the Center for Immigration Studies shows there are only two "sanctuary cities" — Springfield, Ore., and Seattle — in the entire Pacific Northwest as of today.
East of the Cascade Mountains, the nearest so-called sanctuary cities are Denver and Chicago, according to the center.