'We Will Not Be Complicit': Washington Becomes a Sanctuary State

May 23, 2019 AT 8:32 AM

By Tom James

Washington has become the latest West Coast state to enact broad sanctuary protections that restrict all local authorities from asking about people's immigration status.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure Tuesday implementing the new rules, which rank among the strongest statewide mandates in the nation. California and Oregon have similar laws.

The move comes as President Donald Trump's administration has cracked down on immigration by increasing migrant detentions and attempting to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Under the new Washington state law, local law enforcement agencies are broadly prohibited from asking about immigration status or place of birth unless directly connected to a criminal investigation, and both local jails and state prisons are prohibited from complying with voluntary "immigration holds" requested by federal authorities, or from notifying federal authorities when an immigrant is about to be released from their custody.

"Our state agencies are not immigration enforcement agencies," said Inslee, a Democrat who is also running for president. "We will not be complicit in the Trump administration's depraved efforts to break up hard-working immigrant and refugee families."

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