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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan Responds to U.S. Department of Justice Threats Against King County for Protecting Immigrants and Refugees

Seattle (Jan 24) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today responded to threats from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice to subpoena King County for its commitment to protecting refugees and immigrants.

Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Department of Justice sent letters to 29 U.S. cities, including Seattle, arguing that they may be violating federal law through their efforts to protect immigrants and refugees as a Sanctuary City.

In December, Mayor Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes responded in a letter to Attorney General Sessions defending Seattle’s status as a welcoming city and demonstrating that the City of Seattle remains in full compliance with federal law. In today’s letters from the Department of Justice to cities and counties around the country, King County was threatened with a subpoena.

“As a former U.S. Attorney, I’m prepared for a legal fight with this administration. Let’s be clear: It’s a fight that Donald Trump will lose.

“With today’s announcement, it appears Seattle has successfully made the case to remain a welcoming city. But the fight to protect our citizens in all of King County continues.

“We will not allow our City and our state to be bullied by the President and Attorney General Sessions, who continue to threaten our shared values of inclusion, opportunity, and diversity. The administration’s latest legal threats do nothing to make our communities safer.

“We do not seek out a fight, but if necessary, we will see President Trump and Attorney General Sessions in court. We have the law – and justice – on our side. We will keep working together to ensure that immigrants and refugees who believe in the promise of America are made to feel welcome here in our community. That includes ensuring that we have the resources in place to protect immigrants and refugees who are unjustly being put at risk.”