(This is a news release originally issued in January. It is being re-posted since immigration issues continue to be in the news.)
Given recent local and national attention on immigration, the Bothell Police Department seeks to inform residents about its policy on the issue. The Bothell Police Department has a longstanding policy of refraining from inquiring into anyone’s immigration status.
“This protects everyone, both documented and undocumented residents,” said Bothell Police Chief Carol Cummings. “I want all residents to feel free to report crimes without fear of having to disclose their immigration status.”
The policy on foreign nationals states, in part:
“The enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws is primarily the responsibility of the federal government. Accordingly, the Bothell Police Department shall not inquire into the immigration status of persons encountered during police operations except as provided for in this policy.”
It adds, “Being an undocumented resident in this country, barring any criminal activity, is a federal civil violation not enforced by the Bothell Police Department. In Bothell, only ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and other federal agencies can enforce federal laws relating to illegal entry and residence within the United States.”