Last Week in Politics

Top 10 Stories: Another Lawsuit Against Trump, Durkan's Trip to the Border, and Seattle's Police Chief Search

Your weekly dose of top political stories.

By Grace Madigan June 25, 2018

1. Attorney general Bob Ferguson announced that Washington will join 10 other states in suing President Donald Trump's administration over its "zero tolerance" immigration policy. The Seattle Times reported that the lawsuit alleges that the administration is violating parents' and children's due process. The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project announced it will also file a lawsuit separately. The federal government has separated an estimated 2,300 children from their families, nine of whom are in Washington.

2. Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington state will allocate $200,000 in emergency funds to help detained immigrants. The money will go to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which has been assisting those detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma and the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac. Inslee said the decision to allocate funds is a direct response to the Trump administration's increase of separation of families.

3. Microsoft faces backlash due to its working relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Back in January, Microsoft posted about ICE using one of its cloud-computing services and how proud the company was that it could support the agency. Despite the fact that Microsoft has spoken out against Trump's immigration policy and in support of immigrants.

4. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan along with other mayors visited a holding facility at Texas's border with Mexico. The mayors called for the reunification of children with their families. Durkan called the situation "a humanitarian crisis," the Associated Press reported. 

5. Domestic workers in Seattle face low wages and harassment. To better protect them, Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda has drafted legislation that would establish overtime pay, paid days off per year, a full rest day per week, and protection against sexual harassment and assault. A survey found that women of color were likely paid less than their white counterparts and 77 percent overall are having trouble making ends meet.

6. KUOW reported that Seattle's Community Police Commission sent a letter to council president Bruce Harrell regarding their concerns about the finalists for Seattle's new police chief on Thursday. The commission expressed their concerns over the facts that interim police chief Carmen Best, who didn't make the cut, was the only woman and only local candidate among semifinalists. The commission said it requested records on the search process three weeks ago but has yet to receive them. The letter asks the city council to delay confirmation hearings until they can review the selection process further.

7. It's been one year since Charleena Lyles's shooting. Crosscut reported that families and friends of Lyles gathered last week near the Magnuson Park apartment complex, where she lived, to celebrate her life. In the wake of officer-involved shootings of people of color, Lyles's death shook Seattle just as it announced "milestone" legislation on police reform. 

8. KNKX reported that Seattle teachers have voted to call for a two-year moratorium on standardized tests. Representatives of the Seattle teachers' union—Seattle Education Association—are calling for a protest of the tests citing the stress it puts on students. Teachers say tests take away valuable instruction time, discourage students who don't perform well, and are less accessible to students of color. The testing is required by state and federal law, and district officials said they're working with the Seattle Education Association to address their concerns.

9. The Supreme Court ruled that states can collect sales tax directly from sellers outside their borders. The Seattle Times reported this won't actually have that big of an impact on Washington state as lawmakers already pushed for legislation that expands online sales-tax collection. Washington's law which took effect on January 1 mandates businesses with sales of more than $10,000 a year to collect taxes from customers or pay the tax and report sales to the state.

10. U.S. senator Patty Murray—an outspoken critic against Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy—received money from GEO Group, the company that runs the Tacoma immigration detention center, The Seattle Times reported. U.S. representative Dave Reichert, who is retiring at the end of this year, was the only other member of Congress from Washington to receive private prison money. A spokesperson for Murray said the donations were "inconsequential" and had no effect on how she votes.

Show Comments