Immigrant advocates call on Washington governor to hire deportation defense attorneys | KUOW News and Information

Immigrant advocates call on Washington governor to hire deportation defense attorneys

Feb 16, 2018

Immigrant advocates are urging Washington state to offer reparations to people whose information was shared with federal immigration officials.

The state Department of Licensing was sending people's personal information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but halted the practice after it was revealed in media reports in January.

Latino Advocacy and other groups have sent a list of requests to Governor Jay Inslee. They want the state to contact all people whose information was shared with ICE and pay for defense attorneys should they face deportation.

Maru Mora Villalpando is an activist and organizer with Latino Advocacy.

Villapando: "The state has said again and again that we are in a state that is friendly to immigrants, so what better way to prove that they are in the forefront of immigrant justice than to actually find a solution to the problems they created?"

Villalpando herself was issued a deportation notice from ICE this year. She recently learned that ICE got information about her from the DOL.

The information released to ICE conflicted with an executive order from Inslee that ordered state agencies not to help federal agencies enforce immigration laws.

Inslee did not indicate whether he will honor the reparation requests, but said he's extremely frustrated by ICE's tactics and has appointed a special advisor to work on protecting immigrant residents.

Separately this week, immigrant rights leaders called on DOL director Pat Kohler to resign, citing a need for cultural change at the agency. A deputy director already stepped down last month.

Kohler has not indicated she plans to step down, rather she said she is focused on implementing changes to make sure customer information is protected.