SEATTLE — Federal immigration officials are discouraging the state’s largest county from approving a proposal that would bar local authorities from some honoring jail holds on immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.
Making a rare appearance on the local stage, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official testified before the King County Council on Tuesday night.
The Seattle Times reports that Nathalie Asher, field office director of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, told council members that immigrants convicted of minor offenses could well have a “more significant” criminal background and go on to commit further crime. She added that ICE is equipped to better vet a person’s background than local authorities.
Meanwhile, KING 5 News reports the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle also weighed in, sending a letter stating that the office has prosecuted 15 cases in the past 18 months that were generated because of ICE holds at the King County jail.