Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have challenged President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Now, Democrats in the state legislature say they want to extend new protections to immigrants in Washington.
Washington Democrats said Trump is creating a climate of fear among immigrants. To counteract that, they’re proposing to create a confidential hotline for people to call to get immigration and citizenship information. Another proposal would authorize courts in Washington to appoint guardians for neglected and abused immigrant youth.
Democratic state Sen. Guy Palumbo said the goal is to counteract the effect Trump’s words and policies are having on immigrant communities.
“People are scared,” Palumbo said. “And it’s our job to stand up for them and let them know that we’ve got their back.”
Palumbo said it’s important to speak out whether the bills pass or not. An additional measure would prevent state agencies from collecting and distributing religious information about individuals to the federal government. That anti-religious registry bill has the support of one Republican.
Three of the proposed bills are scheduled for committee action Thursday afternoon.