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Rantz: Police chief won’t comply with dangerous sanctuary state law

Governor Jay Inslee. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Another law enforcement officer says he won’t comply with the sanctuary state law, while Attorney General Bob Ferguson won’t offer a comment, and Gov. Jay Inslee’s office gets snappy.

The sanctuary state law bars law enforcement from asking someone about their immigration status, unless it’s part of a criminal investigation. It also prohibits law enforcement from putting someone in jail for 48 hours on an immigration hold.

Last week, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich criticized the bill — and the governor — for engaging in “extreme partisan progressive politics.”

Now, Republic Police Chief Loren Culp says he won’t comply either, claiming the law serves Inslee’s presidential ambitions, but sends the message that they don’t care about Washington citizens.

“It creates an incentive for people to risk their lives to cross our southern border, to cross many miles of desert, putting their lives at risk,” Chief Culp told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

“The drug cartels, the coyotes, they know what’s going on up here and they get money and exploit people to transport them across the border and tell them to get to Washington State, a sanctuary state or other states like it,” the chief warns. “And you’ve got a free ride. You won’t even get deported if you commit a crime. That makes absolutely no sense.”

Culp maintains he won’t comply with the law: “We will not do anything different than we have already. We don’t go around asking people for their papers asking their immigration status at all. We’ve never done that.”

What he will do is alert federal officials of someone’s status, if he finds out they are illegal while breaking another law. He won’t, however, arrest them.

The governor’s office, in a contentious email with a colleague at sister-station KIRO Radio, said the law “makes it clear that we will not allow the federal government to commandeer state and local resources for purposes of federal immigration enforcement.”

Except, law enforcement officials I’ve spoke with don’t view the federal government as commandeering anything. Both Culp and Knezovich want to help their colleagues in federal law enforcement.

“I work with our federal partners all the time,” Culp explained. “I work with the DEA. I work with the Border Patrol. I work with ICE and if I found out that someone was in our country illegally that makes them a criminal. And I would contact Border Patrol or ICE and let them deal with it.”

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office would not provide a comment when asked about this topic.

Culp thinks it’s hypocritical of both Inslee and Ferguson to claim to care about the law, while choosing to give a pass to illegal immigrants who break laws beyond being here illegally.

“This is not going to make our community safer,” Culp warns. “They’re talking about criminals. These are people that have been arrested for a crime and are in jail. And our state is saying just let them go. Don’t tell the federal government about them. They’re being released right back into our communities.”

UPDATE, 10:28 a.m., 6/4/19:

The Governor’s office provided us another statement after the Chief Culp interview, saying the following:

“We are confident that Washington state is in full compliance with federal law. Furthermore, when this legislation was drafted it was done in a way to make certain that it was enforceable.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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