Victory! IRLI Backed Lawsuit Causes Sanctuary City Burien, WA City Council to Conform to the Law

Press Releases

August 9, 2017

Ensuring the safety and security of our communities

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) announced its victory in getting the City Council of Burien, Washington to place Proposition 1, a measure to repeal the City’s dangerous sanctuary ordinance, on the November ballot.

In January, the Burien City Council passed Ordinance 651, a law prohibiting local officials – including law enforcement – from inquiring into immigration status. Understanding the perils of sanctuary measures such as Ordinance 651, a group of concerned Burien residents, led by Respect Washington co-founder Craig Keller and advised by IRLI, began a petition to get a proposal on the ballot to repeal the law. On July 21, 2017, the King County Elections Director certified that the petitioners had acquired more than enough signatures to place Proposition 1 on the ballot. Consequently, under state law, the City Council was required to either adopt the measure or place it on the ballot. Instead, the Council bowed to the will of the open borders lobby, refusing to act and forcing Mr. Keller to seek legal action.

This resulted in Mr. Keller’s August 2, 2017 lawsuit (attached here) filed by Richard M. Stephens of Stephens and Klinge, LLP, against the Council and the City of Burien for refusing to make any decision regarding the proposition. Because of this suit, the Council’s week-long violation of the deadline imposed by law finally came to an end Monday night when the Council passed a resolution to place Mr. Keller’s proposition on the ballot this November.

The City Council’s acquiescence to Washington State law in finally placing Proposition 1 on the ballot is the first step to repealing the dangerous sanctuary ordinance the Tosta-Berkowitz-Bell-Armstrong majority so recklessly enacted. The Council’s disregard for the well-being of their own law-abiding constituents has recently been highlighted by a brutal attack in Burien allegedly committed by a so-called “DREAMer” named Salvador Diaz-Garcia, an illegal alien and recipient of President Obama’s unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Diaz-Garcia allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman after beating her unconscious, leaving her with a broken jaw, broken eye socket and partially severed ear. Authorities also allege that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl the same day. Consequently, Garcia now faces charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Rape in the Second Degree, and Child Molestation in the Third Degree. Four days after the attacks, Garcia was arrested after surveillance footage caught him allegedly watching young girls in a swimming pool.

IRLI’s Executive Director Dale Wilcox commented, “With our extensive experience in the field of local enforcement of immigration law, IRLI was able to advise Mr. Keller in the initiative process, as well as assist in reviewing the proposition.” Wilcox continued, “Despite the City Council’s initial attempt to evade the citizens’ proposition, we are pleased to see that they were finally compelled to place the issue on the ballot. Sanctuary policies like Burien’s are and always have been illegal, and only serve to put law-abiding citizens in harm’s way. Enforcing our immigration laws by repealing the sanctuary city status is vital to the public safety of Burien.”

Click here to hear Respect Washington’s Craig Keller discuss his legal battle to end Burien’s sanctuary policy.

For additional information, contact: Jade Haney • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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