This afternoon Mayor David Condon said in a press release that federal immigration agents don’t need a warrant to search those on non-public areas of city-owned property.
His announcement came after the Spokane City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to put an ordinance in place restricting where and when immigration officers could search individuals.
“Federal law (8 CFR 287(a)(3)) says that such federal officials may ‘within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States … board and search for aliens in any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railcar, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle…’ Reasonable distance is further defined as a 100-mile distance from a U.S. border. Operationally, these agents don’t seek permission or consent from a local elected official or municipal employee to complete their assignments, so neither the mayor nor city employees have the authority to impede such activity,” Condon’s press release said.
He added, “By city law and Spokane Police Department policy, our police officers and other employees do not inquire about immigration status or citizenship without a specific nexus to an issue being investigated, recognizing that such status is not relevant to our local work. Our citizens passionately testified about real problems that need real solutions.”
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.