Submitted by Thurston County
In response to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest made on county courthouse property in June of 2019, and state legislation passing the Keep Washington Working Act (SB5497), the Thurston County Board of Commissioners are requesting the public provide feedback on draft policies around protecting access to courts, regardless of immigration status. The board is expected to vote on enacting the policies at their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 10.
The Keep Washington Working Act requires each jurisdiction to develop policies to align with the new law. The county has worked with key stakeholders within county government to draft a blended policy with the model policy from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and incorporated perspectives from each stakeholder. The county is now asking local partners and community members to provide feedback on the policy to ensure it is meeting the needs of the community.
“It is our duty to ensure safe, secure, and unencumbered access to court services in Thurston County,” said Commission Chair, Tye Menser. “We have drafted policies and are now asking the community and stakeholders to ensure those policies meet the need of our community members, regardless of their immigration status.”
To review the policies, visit the Thurston County website.
Community members are asked to send their comments to the county by 5 p.m. Friday, August 6, 2021. Submit comments to Katelyn Johnson, Executive Assistant to the County Manager, Katelyn.Johnson@co.thurston.wa.us.