Developments Regarding ICE Detainer Requests in Washington State


In April 2014, a federal court in Oregon issued a ruling finding that local jurisdictions could beheld liable when they detained a community member on the basis of an ICE detainer request (also known as an immigration hold) without a separate finding of probable cause.  The district court decision relied on and followed a similar ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  As a result of the Oregon decision, most counties in Oregon have changed their practices so that they are not detaining community members solely on the basis of an ICE detainer without additional safeguards.


On April 22, 2014 NWIRP and our partners at the ACLU of Washington sent a letter to sheriffs around Washington State asking them to voluntarily change their practices to follow the legal reasoning of the federal court decision in Oregon.  As a result of the court decision, a number of counties in Washington State have announced that they have changed their policy or practice and that they will not continue honoring ICE detainers as they had previously.  Some counties have indicated that they may continue to honor detainers in more limited circumstances.


The following is a list of counties and local jurisdictions that have announced changes to their policy with regard to ICE detainers (policies or announcements that are available are linked). The list also includes information on the percentage of the total population of non-citizens in the state that each county represents.


County       /     Percentage of total non-US citizen population *

  • Benton 2.3%
  • Chelan         1.0%
  • Clallam       0.3%
  • Clark             4.6%
  • Cowlitz 0.6%
  • Douglas 1.0%
  • Franklin        3.6%
  • King                43.5%   **
  • Kitsap            1.6%
  • Okanogan 0.8%
  • Pierce 7.7%
  • Skagit             1.5%
  • Snohomish 10.7%
  • Spokane        2.8%
  • Thurston       1.6%
  • Walla Walla    0.9%
  • Wahkiakum --
  • Whatcom 2.4%
  • Yakima           6.8% ***
Local/Municipal Facilities:

  • Aberdeen City Jail (Grays Harbor County)
  • Kent City Jail (King Co.)
  • SCORE Jail (King Co.)
State Entities:

To view this map in a new window, click here.


Number of Counties: 19 (out of 39 total)


Percentage of population of non-U.S. Citizens in Washington State residing in a jurisdiction limiting the honoring of ICE detainer requests: 93.7%


* Note: Populations estimates based on 2011 ACS 3-year estimates.

** Note: King County had already restricted honoring of ICE detainer requests at its facilities since Dec 2013 pursuant to ordinance. 

*** Does not include Sunnyside City Jail.


This list will be updated as additional information becomes available.  For any additions to this list, please contact Jorge L. Baron at 


For additional information regarding ICE detainer requests, visit this page from the Immigration Policy Council.