Federal judge slaps down ban on Seattle ICE deportation flights, sanctuary county immediately tries again

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been cleared to resume deportation flights from Boeing Field in King County, Washington, after a years-long legal battle. King County Executive Dow Constantine, however, issued a new executive order Friday in a last-ditch effort to prevent deportations from the regional air field. “If the federal government insists on using our public airport for purposes that go against the County’s values, the public has every right to know. My order today continues the stance we took in the darkest days of the Trump administration and will ensure that we lead with our values,” Constantine said, according to The Seattle Times. IMMIGRATION LAW FACES FIRST AMENDMENT CHALLENGE BROUGHT BEFORE SUPREME COURT The King County Airport in Seattle had been used by ICE to deport tens of thousands of illegal immigrants over the last decade.  But, in 2019, Constantine issued an order pressuring companies that fuel planes to stop servicing ICE flights or lose their contracts with the county. That order was overturned Thursday by U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan. ICE FIGHTS BACK AFTER COUNTY IN WASHINGTON STATE BLOCKS IMMIGRANT DEPORTATIONS The judge ruled that the order violated the terms on which the airfield haad been granted to the county by the federal government in 1948. The Friday order attempts to continue stalling ICE operation of the airfield by withholding resources from the agency without explicitly banning its planes. According to the new order, “Except where specifically required under the May 26, 1948, Instrument of Transfer, federal law, regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration, or the March 30, 2023, Order,KCIA shall not use its discretionary resources to support the transportation and deportation of immigration detainees in the custody of ICE, either traveling within or arriving or departing the United States or its territories.” “The Office of the Executive will continue to collaborate with key leaders from immigrant and refugee communities to establish a countywide strategy that enhances the health, safety and wellbeing of immigrants when traveling within or arriving at KCIA,” it continues.
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