LOCAL NEWS

Feds drop immigration threat to Seattle, congratulate wrong mayor

Oct 15, 2018, 8:37 AM
Jenny Durkan...
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle is boasting a win against the Trump administration Monday as the feds handed over grant funding, overcoming a previous threat involving contentious immigration policies.

RELATED: Immigrants face new hurdles to citizenship

Seattle was approved for an Edward Byrne Memorial Grant last week, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars for local law enforcement efforts. The US Attorney General’s Office previously threatened the city saying it would withhold such grant money if it did not comply with Trump’s immigration policies. Seattle and other cities fought back, however.

“Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions blinked, Seattle won, and public safety prevailed,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “Because of the work by City Attorney Holmes who worked closely with cities across the country, we saw that we have the law – and justice – on our side. It’s further proof that the administration’s actions violated our Constitution.”

The Seattle Times reports that Seattle is splitting the $675,975 in approved grant funds with King County. Seattle will get $252,157. King County will use the rest.

Which Seattle mayor?

In a letter dated Oct. 10, 2018, the United State’s Attorney General’s Office writes to “The Honorable Ed Murray,” Seattle’s former mayor, notifying the city that it has been approve for grant funding. Murray is referenced in two separate letters about the grant.

To be fair, Ed Murray was mayor of Seattle when the grant was initially applied for. His name is on the application documents.

Current Mayor Durkan’s office points out that the grant approval shows that the “Trump administration has abandoned its nearly year-long effort to withhold 2017 federal funds from Seattle in retaliation for policies that support and welcome immigrant and refugee communities.”

Immigration and grant funding

Seattle will use the money to pay for crime prevention coordinators who work with the Seattle Police Department. The coordinators organize block watch programs, and help with community public safety meetings. Durkan’s office notes:

Following a series of legal defeats and condemnation by Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City Attorney Pete Holmes and other Seattle leaders, the City received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice informing it that approximately $252,157 in previously withheld Justice Assistance Grant program funds had been released to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). The Department will use the federal grant to fund three Crime Prevention Coordinators.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously attempted to withhold federal funding from sanctuary agencies, such as the City of Seattle. But that policy did not hold up in court on more than one occasion.

“As we have said all along, there was never any legal basis to withhold this money,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “After a recent federal court ruling again upheld the rights of cities to these grant funds, this latest decision hopefully reflects the Trump administration’s full acquiescence to the right of Seattle to be a welcoming city.”

Mayor Durkan also said, “While this is a victory for Seattle and safer communities, we are not done. We will continue to stand up against President Trump or anyone who assaults our constitutional powers and shared values. True public safety protects all, including immigrants and refugees seeking the promise of America.”

Byrne Grants, such as the grant Seattle was approved for this month, were specifically targeted by the Trump administration this past year. AG Sessions’ office demanded that cities hand over certain documents to immigration authorities. The feds threatened to withhold money from cities and counties that did not comply. King County called the tactic “bullying.” Seattle, and a range of other local governments fought the policy in the courts.

Local News

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
12 hours ago
airport...
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
1 day ago
(KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Deputies seize nearly 100 pounds of drugs during Tacoma arrest

Deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department seized nearly 100 pounds of drugs while arresting a man with a felony warrant in Tacoma
1 day ago
police pursuit...
Matt Markovich

Source of pursuit deaths updates controversial data

Stats used by legislators to consider changing police pursuit laws may be in question.
1 day ago
recycle...
Nicole Jennings

‘Recycle, don’t throw out’ newest message from King County initiative

King County has launched a new initiative to get people to recycle or reuse items before automatically throwing them out.
1 day ago
belltown...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pedestrian hit by train in Belltown, police investigate

Seattle Police are investigating after a man was hit by a train near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood Thursday night.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Feds drop immigration threat to Seattle, congratulate wrong mayor