Keep Washington Working Act Signed into Law
On May 21st, Governor Jay Inslee signed The Keep Washington Working Act (Senate Bill 5497) into law. This important legislation promotes fairness to immigrants and protects the privacy and civil rights of all Washington residents. This new law prohibits local law enforcement from routinely questioning individuals about immigration status, notifying ICE that a non-citizen is in custody, and detaining someone for civil immigration enforcement.
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. By protecting workers in Washington, the Keep Washington Working Act strengthens local economies across the state.
Jurisdictions that do not use local resources to enforce federal immigration laws have positive outcomes, according to a recent study analyzing the federal government’s own data. Specifically, local jurisdictions that say “no” to ICE enforcement have lower rates of crime, poverty, and unemployment than those that choose to collaborate, and thus, blur the line between local law enforcement and federal agencies.
We are so proud of the many immigrant activists and leaders who stepped forward to demand that legislators pass this important law!