SEATTLE – Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) and Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) issued the following statement in response to an account earlier today of a West Seattle incident during which U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (I.C.E.) agents attempted to enter the apartment building at the intersection of 14th and Cloverdale without a judicial warrant:
“As residents of West Seattle, we are heartened by the power of the South Park community in action reported to us earlier today. This morning, U.S. I.C.E. agents were said to have requested access to a residential building to serve a warrant. The owner of this building rightly turned to a trusted advocate in the neighborhood for assistance about responding first. As luck would have it, this advocate was meeting with a City of Seattle employee, and Seattle as a welcoming city took swift action.
“The three individuals – armed with knowledge from a Know Your Rights training – checked for key things that make a warrant legal and actionable. The administrative warrant held by the I.C.E. agents did not meet the legal threshold that would allow them to legally enter the building. Denied entry, the I.C.E. agents stated they would wait in their cars. The three were soon joined by members of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network’s Rapid Response Team, who helped monitor the situation and photographed the agents’ unmarked cars. The agents soon dispersed. To the knowledge of those on the scene, no one was detained by agents at or near the apartment building today.
“What happened this morning is a terrifying reminder that knowing your rights also means knowing what to do if I.C.E. shows up. Knowing what to look for or whom to turn to in the moment is vital to ensuring that legal processes are followed and, thus, preventing a catastrophic outcome.
“Unequivocally verifying that an enforcement action is taking place before posting it on social media, is crucial to preventing the unnecessary spreading of fear or panic within our immigrant neighbors and communities. If you believe you are seeing an enforcement action taking place, report it to the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network hotline at 1-844-RAID-REP (1-844-724-3737). Resources, in multiple languages, to Know Your Rights can be found at: OneAmerica, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, or with civil rights organizations like ACLU.
“The instinct and care to look out for one another and your neighbors is what makes Seattle a welcoming city. We applaud the bravery and quick thinking of our three community members and Rapid Responders from Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network to help at least one family stay together today.”
Vy Nguyen, Councilmember González’ Office, 206-684-8802
Alex Clardy, Councilmember Herbold’s Office, 206-684-8803
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061
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