Federal Immigration Officials Arrest 23-Year-Old Immigrant Near Seattle: Reuters broke the news yesterday that US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who came to the United States as a child and has no criminal record, in Des Moines on Friday. Ramirez has now filed a complaint in federal court against his detention. According to the complaint in that case, ICE agents showed up to arrest Ramirez’s father and asked Ramirez, “Are you legally here?” He replied that he had a work permit but declined to answer additional questions and ICE agents took him to a processing center, according to the complaint. “When he again informed them about his work permit,” the complaint reads, “one of the ICE agents stated: 'It doesn’t matter, because you weren’t born in this country.’” In a statement, ICE claims Ramirez is a “self-admitted gang member,” but does not specify any crime he is accused of committing. His lawyers say that statement is "inaccurate" and "he was repeatedly pressured by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation." Federal and local officials say they’re trying to get more information about what happened.
I demand the immediate release of 23-year-old DREAMer Daniel Ramirez Medina by immigration authorities. This is unconscionable. pic.twitter.com/XoDkFJ2k7z
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) February 15, 2017
Reminder that It Doesn't Matter How Many Times Seattle Declares Itself a Sanctuary City, the Feds Can Still Basically Do Whatever They Want: "They (federal agents) can arrest people in Seattle and any other so-called sanctuary city," Jorge Barón, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, told the Seattle Times in November. "But we’re not going to have Seattle police out there arresting people for immigration violations."
A Small Group Protested at the Detention Center Last Night:
You Saw the New York Times Story Everyone Is Talking about, Right? "Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials," the Times reports. Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort denied the whole thing to the Times, saying, "I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today... It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.’”
More Late-Night Bus Service Is Coming: Pending approval by the King County Council, King County Metro will expand "Night Owl" bus service on routes across the city starting in September. (Read more about which routes will be affected here.) Meanwhile, King County Council member Dave Upthegrove wants to go even further than that. Last week, Upthegrove introduced a motion asking Metro to study how to make buses free during late-night hours on the Fourth of July, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. That idea is expected to be heard at the county council on March 7.
Port Executives Got Millions in Bonuses: The Port has released the names of employees who received payouts the state auditor has said were illegal. The Seattle Times reports the 650 employees on the list included 360 people with "manager" or "director" in their title, who received $3 million total. CEO Ted Fick, who resigned earlier this month, was among "those who got especially large bonuses," the Times reports.
Arlington Police Shoot 17-Year-Old Girl with Knife: Police say two people were fighting when they arrived, but it's not clear what events led up to the shooting. The girl is in critical condition, KIRO reports
Proposal to Repeal Death Penalty Unlikely to Get Vote in State Legislature: The co-sponsor of the bill, Laurie Jenkins, admits her colleagues have "a lot of trepidation" about the bill so she won't try to get it voted out of her committee.
Cell Phone of Alleged UW Shooter Wiped Clean: "A cellphone belonging to the man who claims he shot and wounded another man in self-defense during a demonstration last month at the University of Washington had been wiped clean of data before being seized by police, according to search-warrant documents filed in King County Superior Court," the Seattle Times reports. According to the warrant, Marc K. Hokoana and his wife, Elizabeth, turned themselves in at a UW police station hours after a person was shot during a protest outside Milo Yiannopoulos' speech at the UW on January 20, saying they'd been involved in a “self-defense” shooting, and were then released. When police wanted to search Hokoana's phone, they found it "had gone through a factory reset of some sort prior to it being examined,” according to a forensic investigator.
Sound Transit Responds to Mercer Island Ding Dongs: After the City of Mercer Island announced it will sue Sound Transit to stop construction of light rail in the center lanes of Interstate 90 across Lake Washington (and a speaker compared Mercer Island residents to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff promised the agency would "take all legal actions necessary to avoid delays or increased costs to taxpayers in fulfilling our promise to voters to complete East Link."
Judge Sides with City over ACLU on Homeless Encampment Sweeps: A judge in U.S. District Court ruled the city and state can continue sweeping homeless encampments as they have been, at least for now, rejecting an argument from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington that the sweeps violate homeless people's constitutional rights. The ACLU's case against the city continues.
This post has been updated to clarify Ramirez's lawyers position on ICE's allegations.