A sheriff in Washington state is speaking out against a bill recently signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
The measure requires authorities to refrain from asking a person’s immigration status outside of the scope of a criminal probe.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich doesn’t agree with the law and says he won’t be enforcing it as written.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 29 years,” he said. “I have never asked anybody for their immigration status. I have never heard of anyone asking about immigration status. The only time that ever comes up is if we’re playing the name game and we finally find that, oh, OK, you are in the country illegally.”
Nevertheless, Knezovich believes the new law would hamper law enforcement officers’ ability to do their jobs.
“I’ve got news for the governor,” he added. “I intend to fully help our federal partners take criminals off our street regardless of their immigration status. That’s just going to happen that way. He doesn’t really have that authority. In my opinion, one of two things he should be held in contempt of Congress because Congress passed that law or he should be arrested for obstruction of justice.”
While the sheriff believes the issue has been settled in D.C., an Inslee spokesperson responded by asserting that the new legislation makes it clear “that we will not allow the federal government to commandeer state and local resources for the purposes of federal immigration enforcement.”