Passed on August 12, 2020.
This resolution will be debated and voted on at the March 2020 meeting.
WHEREAS the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement policies are restrictionist, prioritizing deportation of legal immigrants, restriction of the visa process, and rejection of asylum claims; and
WHEREAS the Trump Administration’s designs its immigration enforcement policies to intimidate immigrants and deter immigration through fear, pain, suffering, and trauma – making them cruel by definition; and
WHEREAS these policies permit arrests in courthouses and the State Clemency Board, effectively excluding immigrants from participating in our justice system and public life; and
WHEREAS the executive branch, having authority over US immigration courts, has been allowed to deny due process and hold people indefinitely without charges or bail; and
WHEREAS when arrested, immigrants face extensive detention without access to legal representation and separation of children from their parents; and
WHEREAS these policies damage communities and tear apart American families – frequently target documented, law-abiding immigrants and refugees; and
WHEREAS life-long American residents are deported to countries they have never known and often do not speak the language; and
WHEREAS interacting with the court system is one of the only methods of relief for immigrants targeted by the Trump Administration; and
WHEREAS applying for clemency is one of the only methods of relief for immigrants charged with crimes targeted by the Trump Administration; and
WHEREAS the Trump Administration’s intimidating tactics and Washington’s overloaded State Clemency Board are insurmountable obstacles for our immigrant communities; and
WHEREAS Washington’s House Bill 2567 and its companion Senate Bill 6522, Courts Open to All Act, would prohibit civil arrests inside or near state courts, prohibit inquiries into or collection of immigration or citizenship status information, prohibit disclosure of nonpublic personal information about individuals to immigration authorities, and establish processes in the event of law enforcement action at court facilities; and
WHEREAS the US House Resolution 5383, New Way Forward Act, would end mandatory immigration detention, end automatic deportation and summary proceedings for people who have had contact with the criminal legal system, end local police engagement in immigration enforcement and over-policing of communities of color, and decriminalize illegal entry and reentry into the US; and
WHEREAS expansion of the Washington State Clemency Board would improve relief for Washington’s immigrant communities and increase assistance for those people facing deportation;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE 34TH DEMOCRATS:
- Reaffirm our support for immigrant communities; and
- Call on the Washington Legislature to pass the Courts Open to All Act, defending the rights of immigrants to freely access our justice system; and
- Call on the US House of Representatives to pass the New Way Forward Act; and
- Call on the US Senate to turn away from the injustices imposed by the current administration, support and pass the New Way Forward Act; and
- Call on our Governor to expand the Washington State Clemency Board to improve assistance for Washington’s immigrants who have had contact with the criminal justice system.