Eastern Washington's U.S. Attorney Weighs In On King County Lawsuit

Feb 10, 2020

Eastern Washington’s U.S. attorney was in Seattle today (MONDAY) to support a federal lawsuit against King County.

The Justice Department sued King County Monday for banning flights with federal immigration detainees into Seattle’s Boeing Field.

Though the case centers on the west side of the state, the U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington was on hand to support the litigation.

William Hyslop, whose office is in the federal building in downtown Spokane, says the suit affects ICE’s operations throughout the Northwest.

He added that the King County rule impedes the enforcement of federal law, and that counties don’t have the power to change immigration laws.

Brian Moran, Hyslop’s counterpart on the west side of the state, says Boeing Field was the “logical place to start” in the federal government’s effort to dismantle Washington’s status as a “sanctuary state.”

After King County banned ICE flights to Boeing Field in April, detainees were flown to Yakima and transported to Seattle – at a cost of $400,000 a year, Hyslop said.

When it comes to the federal government’s fight with Washington state, it has a ways to go.

In May, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Keep Washington Working Act. That prohibits local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich came out forcefully against the law, telling Fox News that Inslee should be “arrested for obstruction to justice.”

But Michael Sparber, who runs the county jail, disagreed. In August, he sent a letter to ICE and the Border Patrol telling them the jail would abide by the new law and was changing its policy.