SEATTLE – Republican nominee Donald Trump will visit Seattle — one of the country’s many so-called sanctuary cities — for a fundraiser Tuesday.
The candidate has changed his tone on immigration recently, saying he would “work with” undocumented immigrants if elected. But Trump said sanctuary cities — those where local law enforcement isn’t required to inform federal law enforcement about people who may be in the country illegally — are “protecting criminals,” and making these cities harder to police.
Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza in Seattle, said all of King County provides sanctuary — and it might actually be safer for it.
“That’s why our county council passed off on that, so that people would feel safe in reporting crimes and helping the police in investigations,” Ortega said.
Trump’s rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, has said she would not crack down on sanctuary cities, although sanctuary cities are not an explicit part of her immigration platform.
Trump will be holding a rally at the Xfinity Arena in Everett on Tues., Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
Bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to cut off federal funding for state and local jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. At least 17 county police departments in Washington state refuse to detain people for immigration issues alone, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Ortega said immigration is a moral issue for some Washington politicians.
“People have educated our local elected officials about the moral issues around undocumented workers, and have put faces and stories so that people see the human element of who’s being impacted by our rules,” Ortega said.
Other cities around the country, such as Portland, San Francisco and Chicago, are also considered sanctuary cities, though policies differ from region to region.
A map of sanctuary cities from the The Center for Immigration Studies is online here.
Eric Tegethoff is a journalist covering the Northwest. Eric has worked as a reporter for KBOO, XRAY FM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, Oregon, as well as other print and digital news media. In 2012, Eric traveled to North Dakota to write about the Bakken region oil boom. He's also worked at a movie theater, as a campaign canvasser and quality assurance at a milk packaging factory. Eric is originally from Orlando, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2010.