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Pierce County Council takes up illegal immigration issue

Post by David Wickert on May 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm with 43 Comments »
May 19, 2010 3:45 pm

The Pierce County Council may weigh in on the illegal immigration debate by urging government agencies to check the legal status of their workers.

On June 1 the council will consider a resolution urging the state and local governments in Washington to adopt the federal E-Verify employment verification system to determine the legal status of potential hires. Lakewood and Pierce County already have adopted that system.

The resolution also urges the United States government to “guard the nation’s borders against unlawful alien entry” and urges governments at every level to “facilitate” federal enforcement of laws governing illegal aliens and to change laws that “through insufficient document verification or other processes, assist aliens in maintaining an unlawful presence in the United States.”

You can read the text of the resolution below.

Councilman Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, co-sponsored the measure with Councilman Shawn Bunney, R-Lake Tapps. Both are running for higher office – Muri for Congress and Bunney for the state House of Representatives.

Muri said illegal immigration is a budget issue for Pierce County government. According to the resolution, last year the county received about $380,000 from the federal government to cover costs associated with 2,100 illegal immigrants detained at the Pierce County jail.

That’s just 30 percent of the county’s actual cost for arresting, booking and incarcerating illegal aliens until they’re transferred to the federal government’s Northwest Detention Center, Muri said.

Pierce County is the latest local government to take up the contentious issue of illegal immigration. The Tacoma City Council is considering a resolution opposing Arizona’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

“The whole issue of illegal immigration has come to the top of a lot of our thought processes,” Muri said.

Here’s a draft of the resolution the County Council will consider:

  • A Resolution Encouraging Measures to Ensure That Government Spending Benefits Lawful Citizens And That The Borders of The United States Are Secured Against Illegal Entry.

    Whereas, unemployment in Pierce County for April of 2010 was 10.8 percent according to the Washington State Department of Employment Security; and

  • Whereas, it is a proper function of government to seek to secure full employment for its citizens and to ensure access to jobs for citizens; and

    Whereas, it is estimated that there were between 100,000 and 200,000 unauthorized immigrants in the State of Washington in 2008 (“A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States”, Pew Research Center, April, 2009); and

    Whereas, the Federation of American Immigration Reform estimates, as of 2008, that there were 225,000 aliens unlawfully present in Washington State; and

    Whereas, a 2004 State Auditor Report regarding federal funding for unallowable Medicaid services provided to undocumented aliens found that, from January 2003 through December 2003, 14,553 undocumented aliens received services through the Washington State administered Medicaid program for a total of $90,590,401 and for the same period in 2004, 15,890 undocumented aliens received services costing $103,698,442; and

    Whereas, in 2009, Pierce County only received $379,837.00 in partial compensation from the United States government for costs associated with 2,100 immigration holds in the Pierce County jail; and

    Whereas, social benefit and criminal justice costs associated with aliens unlawfully present in the United States are placing financial burdens on governments at all levels at a time of economic uncertainty, widespread job dislocation and financial pressures; and

    Whereas, governments at all levels in Washington State have not developed adequate mechanisms to assist the federal government control aliens unlawfully present in the United States; and

    Whereas, the United States government has not addressed the problem of aliens unlawfully present in the United States with sufficient vigor to stem the problem; Now Therefore,

    BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of Pierce County:

    Section 1.  The United States government is urged to guard the Nation’s borders against unlawful alien entry and to fully enforce federal laws concerning the conduct of aliens unlawfully present in the United States.

    Section 2. The State of Washington and agencies of Washington State, including municipalities, are urged to adopt laws incorporating the federal E-Verify system of document verification into their hiring and contracting protocols.

    Section 3.  The State of Washington and agencies of Washington State, including municipalities, are urged to facilitate, where possible and lawful, the federal enforcement of laws concerning the conduct of aliens unlawfully present in the United States and to amend those laws and ordinances that, through insufficient document verification or other processes, tend to assist aliens in maintaining an unlawful presence in the United States.

    ADOPTED this  day of  , 2010.


    Pierce County, Washington

Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. katrina1 says:

    I thought it was already a federal requirement to only hire legal citizens??? Really??? Well, I support the county council on this one! As for Tacoma…I’m boycotting the entire city…I’ll dine and shop else where.

  2. I have always liked the idea of a National I. D. card. Eventually we will have one.

  3. @sunup500

    like rob from the poor and give to the rich?

  4. geeterpontiac says:

    Well, if the Fed isn’t doing the job then someone needs to step up and do something. You have to start somewhere.

    Good for the council irrespective of who initiated the action.

    It appears this simply means the council is encouraging businesses to hire American citizens, or green card types. That seems fairly innocuous to me.

    The fact the Fed doesn’t even provide adequate funding for illegal aliens in the state when compared to state expenditures for illegals’ means we have a real problem which makes up a considerable portion of the state budget deficit.

    It appears we are simply requesting businesses to use the Federal E-Verify tool to determine legal people are hired. Perhaps it is a step toward actually passing a law with more bite to it.

    I agree, enforce existing immigration laws, but the southwest United States in particular has been waiting over 20 years for the Fed to act.

  5. Volks253 says:

    This whole thing is getting stupid.
    whats next, check points on the I-5?
    Are you people going to be satisfied when we really are living in 1940’s Germany or the USSR?

    what is your freedom worth and how much are you willing to sell it for, or are you all just going to give it away?

  6. dlwashbu says:

    E-Verify doesn’t work when illegal workers use identities stolen from legal workers.

  7. tacomaguy30 says:

    I think that the term “illegal immigrant” is a misnomer. They are illegal aliens.

    There’s nothing illegal about immigration.

  8. This resolution does nothing to make up for the financial short-fall caused by the the Counties cooperation with ICE. Where is the demand for full payment for per-diem cost accrued? Using and actually citing an agency like FAIR?

    These two dimlit souls need to look for other work.

  9. paulandsoon says:

    I hope the Tacoma City Council will follow the county’s lead. The county has more sense than the city council does, on this matter. Just because Seattle does something; doesn’t mean Tacoma has to play follow the leader.

  10. Nice. Very nice…. Will you all be joining me at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday? Let’s not let ourselves get railroaded by attention seeking politicos….

  11. AreYouHighOrWhat says:

    Well, well. well. is that the sound of another group looking to garner attention and public support well after the winds blew? Pardon me for sounding distrustful of people who were silent until recently, but supporting our current laws shouldn’t garner kudos. Supporting our laws is what we expect from persons operating in a representative government……riiiiiiight?

  12. I’m with you, I can’t believe the City of Tacoma has a problem with anyone trying to up hold the law and or laws that this great nation has had for a very long time. Maybe the representative government should actually try to support the laws that out forefathers created and maybe we would have a better place to live, rather that a place full of people that don’t obey the law and just do what every they want to cause they know that nothing will come of it.
    remember to vote them all out. We have to take it back.

  13. newin2012 says:

    Good for the Pierce County Council. They are obviously interested in following the law and the good of their citizens. Tacoma is a “Seattle Wannabe”. They will always follow what Seattle does. I will not shop or do business in Tacoma. Too many other opportunities around.

  14. sl35351 says:

    So many smart and talented people live here…hard to believe the what the City of Tacoma has settled on for it’s leaders.

    I guess damage control is all we can really do?

  15. summit98446 says:

    They could have at least said something positive about the invaluable contributions immigrants of all shapes, colors and sizes have made and continue to make to our social fabric.
    At this point in the debate, all of this just panders to our worst angels; stoking the flames of ignorance, blame and yes, racism.

  16. sunup500 says:

    nineinchnacho…….you mean steal from Americans and give it to criminals?
    Because that is exactly what you are preaching. I’m not rich………I have seen our jobs go by the wayside due to NAFTA. We were told by our Government that this would all balance out. But here we stand foofting the bill for all the illegals that come here for the almighty buck. Why don’t they try a little revolution in their country? Maybe if they overthrow the bunch of gangsters that run their country, they would have it better? Maybe we need to do that here. Throw out every single incumbant that supports NAFTA and open borders.

  17. sunup500 says:

    nineinch……….FYI……the illegals steal ID’s and use fake licenses to obtain loans and jobs. How are we stealing from the poor again? Gimmee a break!! They broke the law by crossing the border illegally. They smuggle in drugs that destroys the very fabric of society in which we strive so hard to make a decent place to raise families.

  18. tommy98466 says:

    Way to go Pierce County Council. You have the right attitude about this whole immigration thing. Boycott the City of Tacoma.

  19. Whatever happened to green cards. Looked like a drivers license, with your mugshot. Proved you were legal to work in the US. Then when you became a citizen, they gave you a Naturalization certificate, again with your mugshot. Every employer I have ever had asked to see them and it was no problem.
    What’s so bloody different today ? Too proud to carry them around, or fear of being caught ? Even the illegal gang members of MS13 have tats to prove membership !

  20. the3rdpigshouse says:

    A council with a brain – what a surprise – Congratulations and I hope your purposeful efforts might rub off on the dullards on the Tacoma City Council!!!
    I love it when we have citizens who actually demonstrate that they are pro-American!

  21. humourologist says:

    I sincerely hope that a stolen I.D. doesn’t work for thwarting e-verify, and since the process is a little more thorough than a “bouncer” checking I.D. at the door, I think it will be. If I were working somewhere and my license got stolen, I’d report it…

    And don’t boycott Tacoma everyone, it happens to be inside of Pierce County, sheesh.

  22. LastEvenings says:

    This is unconscionable. Muri and Bunney are either complete fools or they’re grandstanding for the LCD against all common sense. Either way, they should be ashamed.

  23. dooly44 says:

    I asked once before, I’ll ask again. Where were all these council members ( Tacoma and Pierce County) when the Border Patrol was stopping vehicles between Port Angeles and Forks and checking for ID’s? Was anyone concerned about profiling then or the stupid idea of a national ID card?
    Plain and simple…they are all grandstanding, jumping on the mania bandwagon.

  24. From the Seattle Times: “A Seattle man who police say was raping a woman outside an Edmonds supermarket when he was arrested on Sunday night was charged Wednesday with second-degree rape in Everett District Court, according to a spokesman for the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.
    Prosecutors have until June 4 to charge Jose Madrigal, 46, in Snohomish County Superior Court.
    After checking the man’s fingerprints police learned he was wanted on an arrest warrant from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The police report says Madrigal is not a U.S. citizen, but did not indicate his native country.
    Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the Seattle office of ICE, said the agency was prohibited from commenting on anyone’s immigration status. She said an immigration hold is not a criminal matter and is not public information.

    KIRO Radio is reporting Madrigal has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years. But Dankers said the information did not come from ICE. ”

    … GO ARIZONA !!!

  25. summit98446 says:


    Some things never change….

  26. Jillinfidel says:

    So sick of the whiney bleeding hearts who try to twist this into an ‘immigration” issue. Many of do not have a problem with immigrants – just the ones who break our laws to get here and cost us all a lot of money in tax waste. Let them come legally! And for those of you who cry about checkpoints on the I-5… obviously you have not driven in California – they have them all over and on the Candian borders. The city council has been working on this for a lot longer than you think. It is illegal to hire the lawbreaking alien but they get very good at fake IDs and stealing our SSNs for their benefit. Anyone know how much they cost us in ID theft? I have a lot of Mexican friends who are here LEGALLY and they don’t like the fact that these scumbags jump the line – why are they so especial?

  27. tacoinwa says:

    @ jintz
    What’s you pint by quoting the Seattle paper regarding the recent rape of a women by an illegal immigrant?

    Because according to the US Department of Justice (2000) “Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 90 seconds”. (2000 was the most recent info I could find, some groups organizations and such claim an even higher frequency but figured I better go with US Dept. of Justice so you don’t think my point is agenda driven). Thus, my money is riding on the fact that most of those rapes are committed by citizens. Does this mean I should I be more afraid of citizens?

    Additionally, here some other statistics to consider:

    In 2002, one in every eight rape victims was male (2002 National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice).

    About three percent of American men —- a total of 2.78 million men—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women 1998).

    Approximately 66% of rape victims know their assailant (2000 National Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)

    Approximately 48% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance; 30% by a stranger; 16% by an intimate; 2% by another relative; and in 4% of cases the relationship is unknown (2000 National Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice).

    I’m just saying…don’t try and use one incident as a representation of the whole issue, it reflects your ignorance and your position loses its validity.

  28. thurber says:

    What’s Timmy Farel going to do? Does it matter?

  29. amandaholder says:

    Maybe the Taco ma city council will propose a boycott of Pierce County.

  30. I was expecting another boycott Arizona but was pleasantly surprised. Finally a government willing to support the will of the people and uphold the order of law.

  31. ggd11thacr says:

    I am glad that there is at least one government agency out there that has enough, B*lls to do something constructive. I am also boycotting Seattle and if Tacoma boycotts AZ. I will also boycott Tacoma and I spend a lot of money in Tacoma & Seattle, that I could spend in other places.
    Good job Dick and Shawn, I think this is another demonstration of the kind of job you will both do in higher offices.

  32. Have you people already forgotten that the new Mayor of Tacoma is a Majority Progressive and not a Democrat as she would lead you to believe! Check it out, don,t question me about it, she is. Progressives don.t believe in the Constitution so why should they not be opposed to obeying Federal Law or join in to support a travisty of justice being suffered by the people of Arizona. Rights that you and I are sworn to protect are not available to the Illegal immigrants because we are a nation of laws ( at least I thought we were) that provide security for all of us, not a select group of illegals determined to defy our way of life. Think about what you are doing and saying.

  33. Earth_watch says:

    Be prepared for contracts to cost much more, since many low-bids come from companies which use perfectly legal foreign labor with appropriate work visas… who will not be in E-verify.

  34. geeterpontiac says:

    “Earth_watch says:
    May 20, 2010 at 11:52 am
    Be prepared for contracts to cost much more, since many low-bids come from companies which use perfectly legal foreign labor with appropriate work visas… who will not be in E-verify.”

    Sounds like a valid point if you are correct .

    But, if such is the case I would think that is something that could be worked out and easily handled.

    In addition, I would think both union and non-union labor in the area would be very interested in supporting this. I am not pro-union in the least and tend to be critical, but I can see how they might have a vested interest in assuring government monies that are available in this budget crunch go to American citizens or at least companies using legal aliens are in compliance with the law.

    This isn’t just about dollars and cents. This is about a respect for the law.

  35. We, as a nation, need to take back our country and our rallying cry should be, “We will FIGHT as a nation against illegal immigration.”
    President Obama is hell-bent on misusing his powers to push through an immigration policy that will destroy us as a sovereign country. Under pressure from Mexican president Calderon who thinks it’s Mexico’s right because of NAFTA (which needs to be repealed immediately!) he will attempt to open the borders wider, allowing not only illegals uncontrolled entry, but Mexican truckers access to our national roads which will put all of our American truckers out of work. Our truckers are one of our most precious resources, and yet he will try and circumvent the public’s will and force his anti-American policies on us as a nation. It’s wrong, it’s not the right of any American president to go against the will of the American people and we must stand together as a united people and through peaceful resistance and our almighty vote, get rid of him and everyone else who supports these detrimental policies.

    Our kids are sent home from school for wearing the colors of the American flag, yet our President says nothing. American citizens are murdered on American soil on a regular basis by illegals and yet our President says nothing. Our jobs are taken by illegals, yet our President says nothing. Mexico considers illegal entry into Mexico as a crime punishable by imprisonment, and yet Mexico under the approval of our President, hands out GPS systems to border crossers. Obama has said that the Arizona law is wrong because it makes being an illegal, illegal. The man has lost all credibility and has shown us he is not qualified to be the president. I voted for him in 2008, but I will not vote for him again.
    Be aware, it’s not just the Democrats who support illegal immigration, but the Conservatives as well. Ronald Reagan, the Conservative patron saint, was the father of illegal immigration, and they hold the same values today. It will only be through legitimate and true Republicans that we will get back on course. The legitimate and true Republicans are the ones the third party Conservatives dub “moderates”. They are the ones to vote for to stop this madness.

  36. seattlesailor4 says:

    its about time they do something for the US citizen.
    And if they oversee the Pierce Library system, they need to look into
    SS landscaping.

    E-verify manditory of all US companys
    287g manditory for all US police

    Read the law
    sec 274 of the INA
    USC 8 -1325

  37. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Check which box applies to you!

    ( ) Pro-American / Anti-Illegal Alien!

    ( ) Anti-American / Pro-Illegal Alien!

  38. gmborting says:

    If some government entity has to put their nose in Arizona’s business at least the Pierce County Council did it right. Aknowledging the problem and calling on the Fed to uphold it’s responsibilities to “we the people” is all of our duty. We elect representitives that swear to uphold the constitution and all of our laws, yet they continue to NOT do so. Come november I hope to see a 100 % replacement of all legislative members up for election. And… NO so called professionals, only real, normal people that have a grasp of reality.

  39. Volks253 says:

    Based on the responses, it seems quite a few of you are more than willing, eager in fact, to hand over your freedom and your liberty for nothing.
    Nothing but a media driven fear. the media brain washing has worked so well on you that you are convinced that giving up your freedom is the ‘pro-American’ thing to do.
    The founding fathers are spinning in their graves.

  40. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    YAY for the COUNTY Council on this one. I love the resolution and fully support it.

    As far as the City Council of Tacoma goes — I will boycott every Tacoma business and destination should the city council pass a resolution that interferes with another government body’s Constitutional right to enact their own laws.

    BAN TACOMA and see how fast Tacoma business owners get involved in telling their own city council to bud out of other state’s business.

  41. EatonvilleTaxPayer says:

    For anyone interested…the contact website for City of Tacoma Council Members, Mayor Strickland and Deputy Mayor Fey is at http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=54

    I sent a letter expressing my concerns of another state or city interfering with a fellow state’s constitutional rights to enact their own laws and informing the City of Tacoma of my intent to cease all business and travel to Tacoma should they decide to show a vote of support or non-support (either way) on the Arizona immigration laws.

    What is the purpose? Why would council members bring personal agendas, thoughts and opinions into their position to begin with. It just isn’t necessary.

  42. Stimpy123 says:

    As I watched this unfold last week, I was shocked at the fact that this seems to be personally important to at least two Council members. I can’t seem to figure out why.

    As I watch again tomorrow I really hope that the City Council is ready not only to send a strong message to Arizona, but prepared to do so with all the other states that will be following Arizona’s lead on this. Such as Utah, New Jersey, Texas, and so on. While they are at it, why not the our own Federal Government.

    Well we all know that will never happen. Keep following Seattle, we all know they are the model city.

    Can you please get back to the business at hand.

  43. Suggest you try Garmin.com for up to the minute information, they manufacture/sell GPS units.. For my own sake, I hope not, unless they plan to phase it in gradually because I just purchased a new GPS hand-held unit and it WASN’T CHEAP !!

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