Snohomish County legislators push response to immigration order

By Evan Smith

State Reps. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Derek Stanford and State Sen. Guy Palumbo are sponsoring bills in response to President Trump’s recent immigration order.

Ortiz-Self and Stanford highlighted their bills at a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 15, with Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib and members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses.

Ortiz-Self is sponsoring a bill to allow courts to appoint guardians for immigrant youth who have been abandoned, abused or neglected and another bill to start a hotline for anyone seeking help for immigration and citizenship matters. Stanford is sponsoring a bill that would limit disclosure by state or local government agencies about people’s religious affiliations.

Stanford said after the Wednesday press conference that a prohibition on disclosing religious affiliations is important in case federal officials plan to start a religious registry.

Ortiz-Self is sponsoring House Bill 1988, which would allow courts to appoint guardians for immigrant youth who have been abandoned, abused or neglected.

She said at a Feb. 14 hearing on the three bills that appointing guardians helps immigrant youth get help for an extended period of time.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a substitute bill Thursday, Feb. 16, by a 10-3 margin and sent it to the Rules Committee.

Palumbo and State Sen. Maralyn Chase are among co-sponsors of a companion bill in the Senate. That bill had a hearing Feb. 2 in the Senate committee on human services, mental health and housing. That committee sent a substitute bill to the Ways and Means Committee after approving it Feb. 14 by a 6-1 margin.

Ortiz-Self also is sponsor of House Bill 2029, which would provide a hotline for those seeking help with immigration- and citizenship-related matters.

She said after the hearing that the bill is designed to get immigrants in touch with sources of assistance.

The Judiciary Committee also sent this bill to the House Rules Committee with a 10-3 do-pass recommendation.

Stanford is a co-sponsor of the bill along with State Reps. Ruth Kagi, Shelley Kloba, Strom Peterson and Cindy Ryu.

Stanford is sponsoring House Bill 2097 to limit disclosure by state or local government agencies about a person’s religious affiliation.

The House Judiciary Committee gave the bill a unanimous do-pass recommendation at the Feb. 16 meeting and sent it to the Rules Committee.

Co-sponsors include Ortiz-Self, Kagi, Peterson and Ryu.

Palumbo is sponsor of a companion bill in the Senate.

Ortiz-Self noted last week that the hearing on the bills came as the nation marked the 75th anniversary of the World War II-era order that sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Ortiz-Self and Peterson are Democrats representing the 21st Legislative District, including most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood and northeast of Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.

Stanford, Palumbo and Kloba are Democrats representing the 1st Legislative District, including most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

Chase, Kagi and Ryu represent the 32nd Legislative District, including the city of Lynnwood, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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