The City of Burien on Friday (Oct. 27) issued a statement that appears to be inspired by a direct mail letter sent out by Respect, WA, which targets “undocumented immigrants” it claims are criminals – including a map to their homes(!):

“The City of Burien supports and values all of our residents, regardless of their immigration status or religion. People’s safety and quality of life are our primary concern.

We want to make it clear that it is safe for all our residents, regardless of their immigration status or religion, to contact the City if they are need of service or assistance, to contact Burien Police to report a crime, or to seek emergency health care.

The City of Burien works to foster a culture of trust and cooperation between City staff, Burien police, and the community at large.”

– Burien City Manager, Brian Wilson

Also, King County Sheriff John Urquhart issued this statement on Thursday, Oct. 26:

“I have been forwarded a letter that lists individuals purported to be undocumented immigrants living in Burien and the crimes they are alleged to have committed, or in some cases just associates of the alleged perpetrators. According to the letter, the listed crimes go all the way back to 2008.

Most concerning, the letter lists the specific home address of these people, even though the person may not still be living at that address. And it makes no distinction about whether the person was ever convicted or not.

Publicly disseminating this type of inflammatory information puts people at risk who likely had no connection to the crime, whether they be family members or new residents of the home.

I find it irresponsible and dangerous to release this type of very dubious information. It puts innocent people at risk for vigilante action and unnecessarily stokes fear in the community.”