Kirkland senator seeks to shield Washingtonians from President’s executive orders

Kirkland senator seeks to shield Washingtonians from President’s executive orders

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:37am
  • News

By Enrique Pérez de la Rosa

WNPA Olympia News Bureau

OLYMPIA, Feb. 16 — Washington State Democrats have introduced legislation they say will protect residents from recent presidential executive orders.

At a news conference Wednesday called by House Democrats, Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby), who represents Kirkland from the 1st District, said the legislation is meant to shield the state from affairs in the nation’s capital related to President Donald John Trump’s executive orders.

“Democrats are trying to find a way to build a wall around Washington State to keep D.C. out, and this hateful rhetoric and all these actions,” Palumbo said.

On the same day, the Washington state House of Representatives commemorated the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the order ultimately led to the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Among those removed and incarcerated, 12,000 were from Washington State.

Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-Seattle) said the scheduling of the media event Wednesday was no accident.

“We made very grave mistakes as a country 75 years ago,” Farrell said at the news conference. “Senate Democrats and House Democrats are committed to making sure that we do not make mistakes like that again.”

Democrats’ proposals to accomplish their aims are now moving through the legislative process. Among them, House Bill 2029, sponsored by Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo), would create a toll-free telephone hotline and website for individuals seeking information and assistance related to immigration and citizenship.

“We refuse to not learn from the past and we’re going to stand up,” Ortiz-Self said. “I never thought we’d have to introduce a bill that protects, that gives resources to those who are being discriminated against.”

HB 2029’s companion bill, Senate Bill 5801, is sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), who said it is important to recognize the role immigrants play in Washington State.

“It is important that policy is moved forward in a way that creates opportunities and pathways for economic opportunities for people to bring their full gifts to Washington State,” Saldaña said. “And that policy must never be about fear and racism.”

Saldaña highlighted the importance of remembering the Japanese internment in light of recent events, such as the arrest of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year- old Mexican immigrant who was granted temporary permission to live and work in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department said in court documents that Ramirez admitted to having gang ties. Lawyers for Ramirez denied the allegation.

“We had clear policy set forward for him to be legally here and have legal status, and that status was undermined by an unlawful detention,” Saldaña said. “We are still waiting to hear more details about that particular case, but it’s really critical that residents of Washington know that we will stand up against discrimination.”

HB 2029 was reported out of the House Judiciary committee with a do-pass recommendation on Feb. 16 with 11 votes to two votes.

Rep. Brad Klippert (R- Kennewick) voted against the bill, calling it unnecessary because the state already provides information via the Washington Information Network 2-1- 1 telephone service on health and human services. Rep. Matt Shea (R- Spokane Valley) also voted against the bill.

Rep. Ortiz-Self also sponsored House Bill 1988, which would create a new process for immigrant youth between the ages of 18 to 21 to petition for court-appointed guardians if they have been abandoned, abused or neglected by one or both parents. Currently, Washington state juvenile courts do not have authority to do this.

The bill was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee with a do pass recommendation with 10 votes to three votes. Reps. Klippert, Shea and Larry Haler (R- Richland) voted against the bill. SSB 5559, a companion to the House version sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, moved from the Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Feb. 14 with a 6-1 do-pass vote.

HB 2097, sponsored by Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), seeks to protect religious freedom by prohibiting state or local government agencies from providing, collecting and disclosing information about an individual’s religious affiliation.

The bill is a way for Washington to stand up for religious communities in the face of President Trump’s past proposals of religious discrimination and prosecution, Stanford said, citing the travel ban and the Muslim-registry Trump discussed during his presidential campaign.

“My legislation will prohibit our state from enabling this reprehensible activity,” Stanford said. “We must not stand by silently and watch the scapegoating of an entire faith community.”

HB 2097 bill was reported out of the House Judiciary committee Feb. 16 with a unanimous do-pass recommendation. Its companion Senate bill, SB 5828, sponsored by Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby, has yet to be considered by the Law and Justice Committee in that chamber.

This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Reach reporter Enrique Pérez de la Rosa at perezenrique17@gmail.com.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

file photo
Department of Health announces QR code verification program to prove vaccination status

WA Verify is intended to make vaccine verification simpler and more efficient.

Mid-afternoon traffic on northbound Interstate 5 on Nov. 22 near Everett. Dan Bates/The Herald
Thanksgiving traffic forecast is heavier than pre-pandemic

Drivers and ferry riders could be in for long waits, depending on when they go.

Patti Cole-Trindall
King County Executive appoints Patti Cole-Tindall as interim sheriff

Cole-Tindall has a background in the sheriff’s office and county government.

Comparison map between current district map and proposed draft. (Screenshot from King County’s website)
King County proposes redistricting map, asks for feedback from public

Public invited to comment at November 30 public hearing.

Redmond’s Silver Cloud Inn, purchased by county to become permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless (photo credit: Cameron Sheppard)
King County councilmember proposes a public comment period before county establishes homeless shelters

In some cities, hotels bought to homeless shelters have been constroversial among residents.

Pixabay image
Man dubbed “the sweatpants robber” arrested by Bellevue police

Antonio Aaron is supected of nine different robberies across East King County.

Abusive power and control diagram (Screenshot taken from Zoom meeting with advocates against domestic violence)
For domestic violence survivors, petitioning for a protective order can be an uphill battle

New state law intends to remove barriers to protection, but advocates say it may not do enough.

Left: Dow Constantine, Right: Joe Nguyen (screenshot from King County website)
Constantine leads in vote count for King County Executive

Incumbent Dow Constantine is challenged by State Sen. Joe Nguyen.

file photo
Two Eastside high schools recognized for their collective academic success

Redmond HS and Newport HS both honored, Newport had three different sports teams win.

courtesy of King County Council
Kirkland’s city manager awarded Martin Luther King Medal of Distinguished Service

The award comes after Kirkland was ground-zero for the pandemic in the state and the nation.

Google Images
Racial disparities in bike helmet law forces decision by King County health board

On Oct. 21, the King County Board of Health discussed striking down… Continue reading