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Mayor Durkan to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Seattle Respects the Rule of Law

Seattle (April 13) – Seattle Mayor and Former U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan denounced the Department of Justice’s subpoena threat claiming Seattle is “enact[ing] policies that thwart the federal government’s ability to enforce federal immigration law” and intentional in their “effort to undermine public safety and the rule of law.” This letter follows her recent directive to ensure a streamlined response regarding ICE information requests.

“Unlike some in the Trump administration, Seattle respects the rule of law. Our City is tasked with protecting public safety for all people who call Seattle home. We will also protect our residents from unjust law enforcement actions,” said Mayor Durkan. “Our City complies with federal immigration law and asks that the Department of Justice and ICE do the same. The federal government does not get to run our cities or convert our local law enforcement officials into immigration cops. I implore this administration to focus on real public safety threats, like the opioid crisis, instead of unnecessarily threatening our residents and mayors across the country.”

“We will keep working together, including with law enforcement, to ensure that immigrants and refugees who believe in the promise of America are made to feel welcome here in our community,” concluded Mayor Durkan.

On February 6, Mayor Durkan issued a Mayoral Directive to ensure the City is prepared for any and all requests by ICE authorities. All ICE requests are now directed to the Mayor’s Office Legal Counsel, including requests for access to non-public areas in City buildings and venues as well as for data or information about City employees, residents, or workers.