Burien, SeaTac Police, ordered by Sheriff not to enforce federal ICE warrants


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By Jack Mayne

Burien, SeaTac police and King County Sheriff’s deputies were told recently that ICE immigration warrants are not enforceable because a federal court does not issue such warrants.

Asking any person about their immigration status is a violation of a long-standing Sheriff’s office policy, Sheriff John Urquhart said Friday (March 4).

He told his officers – and those who work as local police officers for Burien and SeaTac – they are “not to stop, arrest, detain, or transport anyone for any length of time” even if there is a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) listing on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) warrant or detainer.

“To do so is a violation of the Fourth Amendment related to search and seizure, and therefore is a violation of that persons’ constitutional rights,” Urquhart told his 721 sworn officer force.

‘Not a crime’
“Detainers and ICE warrants are not based on probable cause,” the sheriff said. “They are not signed by a neutral judge or magistrate, but are typically signed by almost anyone authorized within ICE. They are not reviewed by any court. They cannot be served by local law enforcement.”

“Simply being present in the U.S. without lawful immigration status is not a crime. It is a civil violation,” the sheriff said, adding that even if the officer has “probable cause to believe someone is in this country illegally, they still cannot be stopped or detained.”

Urquhart said there are times when “you may get a hit on a valid criminal warrant signed by a federal judge” and the “warrant should name at least the court that issued the warrant, and can be verified … like we would do with any other judicially issued arrest warrant.”

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32 Responses to “Burien, SeaTac Police, ordered by Sheriff not to enforce federal ICE warrants”
  1. Ben Smith says:

    Glad to hear the facts about it being a civil violation and know our cops are focused on local crime in Burien instead of doing Feds job. “Simply being present in the U.S. without lawful immigration status is not a crime. It is a civil violation,”
    thats what we need a focus our our local PD resources in stopping house break ins, car break ins, and assaults or hit and run accidents not federal civil violations.

    • sean calabro says:

      many taxpayers in the U S age 35 to 70 see many good paying jobs going to persons of foreign lands. this is a good thing but the 35 – 70 yr. old people feel left out like they are being replaced. organized immigration is better than unorganized. once again. if the government doesn’t want to inforce the law, fine O.K. but you may wind up with a BIG PROBLEMS!!….Trump,! Sessions,! Kelly ! DOJ,! DHS! DEA!, ICE! U S military, national guard, border patrol. 120 new federal judges!

    • Miranda Noble says:

      Well said!

    • Diane says:

      There are not enough police in Burien to focus on local crime, and remember, Burien is a
      “Sanctuary City” now, so anything goes. I knew I smelled some ACLU. They sure have the sheriff snowed.

  2. Question Authority says:

    Pure semantics, illegal is illegal and Federal law dictates State law.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      Interesting that the B-town blog law and order folks oppose the sheriff.
      The sheriff makes more sense and doesn’t hide his I D. That seems a bit more trustworthy to me.

    • BD Kellmer says:

      I’m afraid you’re wrong. Civil offenses and criminal offenses, even if both are illegal, are not the same thing. And Federal Law absolutely does not dictate State law. They cover very different areas of law enforcement. And while they usually do assist the Feds, local law enforcement is not under an obligation to assist Federal officials with enforcing Federal laws.

    • Burien voter says:

      The sherriff knows more about it than you do, that’s a 100 percent certainty.

    • On Lake Burien Minor says:

      Crimes can lead to incarceration. Civil violations are sanctioned by fines or deportation in the case of undocumented immigrants. It appears that a lot more than semantics is at stake.

    • Question Authority says:

      My point is and was, crime knows no boundaries and whether or not you violate Federal or State law you are breaking it plain and simple. To say that laws are only enforceable by certain agencies is much akin to deciding where your tax dollars are spent.

      • Lee Moyer says:

        Right,
        All law enforcement to enforce everything:
        Someone not picking up after their dog – call the State Patrol
        Hostage situation at the bank – send for a meter maid
        Junk car left in front of your house – notify the Secret Service
        Neighbors party too loud – a perfect job for the FBI
        Murder suspect on the run – send the CARES ACO with his net
        Need extras for a Keystone Cops comedy – recruit fake named bloggers

  3. Pat Paulsen says:

    Thank you, KC and Sheriff Urquart. Our police are already stretched to the max without this ‘hate crime’ of illegal being warrants perpetuated by the ICE and Pres!

  4. Welcome to Seattle says:

    Well based in that logic…. Probation violation warrants are issued by probation officers and not courts… So they can’t be arrested either.

  5. Lin says:

    Dear Burien Blog,
    So you are saying the sheriff dept. says it’s illegal to ask for citizenship from foreigners? Isn’t that making it ok for any & all illegals to live in Burien, take over legal citizens jobs, take legal citizens government aid etc? Who are THEY working for communism, by allowing illegals have free reign in America, which is what President Trump is trying to end? That;s what’s bringing America to her knees! She is being forced to accept illegals, which are usually criminals, especially the influx of muslim communists which are now in Burien & who will no doubt, force their beliefs down OUR throats the same way they are doing in England, France, Germany, & also in MI, FL & CA. How dangerous the sheriff dept has now made Burien. I’m ashamed of them!

  6. Meredith Stilwell says:

    This is great. How is this information being conveyed to populations that this affects? Here’s a link to the ACLU’s infographic and video about what to do if ICE agents are at your door:
    https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-immigration-agents-ice-are-your-door
    Sharing this info in conjunction with providing these updates could be helpful for immigrants most affected by these policies.

    • Question Authority says:

      This is what you do when ICE comes to the door. Assume the arrest position by placing your hands behind your neck, crouch down into a kneeling position and cross your ankles. You are now in the correct position to be handcuffed and deported as an illegal alien. You have broken the law plain and simple and deserves to be punished just like any other person who has broken any other law. Now justice is supposed to look the other way and hand out free passes?

      • Burien voter says:

        So speaks “Question Authority.”

        • Question Authority says:

          It’s just a username, but since I don’t have a habit of breaking the law I don’t have a reason to QA as much as some.

          • Lee Moyer says:

            Typically, undocumented immigrants don’t have a “habit” of breaking the law either.

            • Peter says:

              Lee – should other cities be free to disregard federal law as Burien is? Perhaps disregard Endangered Species Act? EPA? Abortion rights?

              • Lee Moyer says:

                By looking at the reaction of millions across the country it seems to me that this is one of those times that a poor policy needs to be resisted and changed. The other issues you keep bringing up have nothing to do with immigration.

  7. Ryan Jolly says:

    I say…..Pull all federal funding. State law enforcement have a sworn duty to uphold state and federal laws. Failure to do so should results in total loss of federal funds.

  8. John Farrar says:

    “Not A Crime” would also apply to “traffic” ( See “commerce”). There’s no corpus delecti.

    Traffic, however, makes corporations like CITY OF BURIEN lots of money, so a blind eye can be turned to a “lack of a crime” and “Qui tacet consentire videtur. He who is silent appears to consent.” is turned against the defendant.

    ICE warrants don’t make money.

  9. Peter says:

    So if a city in, say, Montana decides to not enforce the endangered species act in order to appease some hunters, or perhaps if another city decides to ignore the EPA for whatever reason, or perhaps a city decides to make a “gay marriage free zone” or abortion free zone – on what grounds would you oppose it? If you’re for the local authorities ignoring federal law, then how would you oppose other cities/counties ignoring other federal laws?

  10. Slr skinner says:

    What amazes me is that I have to prove i am a legit person if i want food stamps. Or to drive or to enroll my kids in school. But someone can hop skip and jump the river and its ok.. and steal my social security number.. use the hell out of it.. i have no right to know it.. ruin my credit.. my life.. and they have no punishment coming.. but a saftey net of liberal, aaah its ok pats on the back.. better luck next time.. we hope you dont get caught.. here try this agency.. the sherrif and cops will blindside the feds and ICE agents, while you make a run for it.. Hell we will even teach you how to hide, and find you extra funding to do it. Mean while our own kids , hell they dont count. Neither do our vets or our elderly or our homeless. Lets forget we have any issues but this.. people who just happen to break the law over and over and over again and happened to have forgotten they have done it… until they get caught.. duh..!

    Damn.. think most 2 year olds have gotten past that stage even.

    Next thing we know you guys are going to be protecting the law abiding murdering rapest, because you feel so sorry for them being seperated from their dear loved ones… because they have become the victims? Stop making excuses for them. They have made their own selfs victioms.

    Good grief!

  11. Earl Gipson says:

    Question. Does the NCIC/ICE warrant list any other crime/s other than illegally being in the country? What other reasons would be shown, if any?

  12. Kat Sterns says:

    THIS IS CRAZY! THE LOCAL POLICE NEED TO ENFORCE ALL LAWS.
    IF WE LOSE ANY FEDERAL FUNDING IN ANY WAY ALL THE LOSES SHOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM BURIEN’S MAYOR & COUNCIL SALARIES.. AND THE MAYOR SHOULD BE PUT IN JAIL…
    SINCE WHEN DO OUR OFFICIALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE SUCH BOLD RULINGS WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE THE VOTE OF THE RSEIDENTS?
    TAKE A SURVEY OR ELECTRONIC VOTE AND THEY WILL FIND THAT THE MAJORITY DO NOT WANT THYE ILLEGALS HERE!!!

  13. Kat Sterns says:

    THIS IS CRAZY! THE LOCAL POLICE NEED TO ENFORCE ALL LAWS.
    IF WE LOSE ANY FEDERAL FUNDING IN ANY WAY ALL THE LOSES SHOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM BURIEN’S MAYOR & COUNCIL SALARIES.. AND THE MAYOR SHOULD BE PUT IN JAIL…
    SINCE WHEN DO OUR OFFICIALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE SUCH BOLD RULINGS WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE THE VOTE OF THE RSEIDENTS?
    TAKE A SURVEY OR ELECTRONIC VOTE AND THEY WILL FIND THAT THE MAJORITY DO NOT WANT THYE ILLEGALS HERE!!!

  14. Lee Kaplanian says:

    Does any one care that “undocumented workers” come here, go to the Social Security office, sign up and 30 days later they get $1500 a month? No wonder Social Security is in trouble. What is going on in this city, state and country? Since when do people coming into this country no longer have to jump through the hoops and do it by the numbers to be legal immigrants? it wasn’t easy in 1973 but we did it so my husband would never have to worry about being deported. And now we hear sob stories about families having to be separated – they should have thought about that before coming here illegally. I have no sympathy for them, it was their choice and it has consequences. I am still angry the City Council passed the Sanctuary City bill without telling us until it was done. Who do they work for? They work for the residents and they have definitely lost sight of that long ago.

  15. jenny says:

    Who ordered this?

    “Burien, SeaTac police and King County Sheriff’s deputies were told Friday that ICE immigration warrants are not enforceable because a federal court does not issue such warrants.”

  16. Michael Espe says:

    The sheriff is wrong about the 4th Amendment. Illegal immigrants do not have constitutional rights because they are not citizens of the US. Period!

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