Presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee replayed his greatest hit from last month’s Democratic debate, telling a rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies Friday that he sees refugees arriving at the border differently.
“He has tried to threaten me, saying, ‘Well we are going to send our refugees to Washington’ and my response was, ‘Send them,’” Inslee said outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s headquarters, echoing a similar comment he made in a televised debate. “We like refugees, we welcome immigrants in our state.”
Inslee arrived after a rally organized by the American Federation of Teachers had begun, and chanted with the protesters. His dark blue suit stood out against the sea of white t-shirts.
“He has decided to bring a reign of terror for one reason and that’s to try to restore his failing presidency,” Inslee said through a megaphone. “I got news for him, this inhumanity is going to end his presidency.”
The AFT rally protested conditions in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities, policies that separate families, and upcoming ICE raids aimed at immigrants facing deportation.
“Teachers are nurturers,” said AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus. “To see these children in cages and no one having voice for them, we were compelled to come out today and say you are not alone.”
Friday’s rally was the launching event for an AFT campaign focused on speaking out against the administration’s immigration policies.
“We’re gonna tweet, we’re gonna shout, we’re gonna clap, we’re gonna fight, we’re gonna go to the highways and byways,” DeJesus said. “This is the beginning of a great campaign.”
On Friday, Trump confirmed nationwide ICE raids will be carried out this Sunday and target more than 2,000 people in 10 cities.
Inslee said he plans to protect undocumented immigrants in Washington “through legal means” and will investigate any report of ICE violating civil rights.
Communication to fight ‘true fear’
Gabriel Albornoz, a member of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland, said he has been working with community and faith-based organizations to inform potentially affected residents about their rights.
“The main thing under situations like this is often just making sure communication is correct, because rumors can run rampant and that’s when true fear spreads,” he said.
Inslee said the real solution to immigration is not to detain and deport undocumented immigrants.
“What this nation deserves is a president who will adopt comprehensive immigration reform that will give a path to citizenship to 11 million people who are our coworkers, our neighbors,” Inslee told reporters after the rally.
At the first Democratic debate held on June 11, Inslee focused on his hard stance against Trump, saying he was proud to be the first governor to “stand up against Donald Trump’s heinous Muslim ban.”
In May, Inslee signed a law forbidding local and state law enforcement from asking citizens about their immigration status, complying with ICE requests to detain immigrants at their facilities, or notifying ICE when an individual was released.
With the law, Washington joined 5 other states considered to be sanctuary states because of their stance against helping ICE enforce immigration law.
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