Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has used the King County Airport in Seattle to deport almost 34,000 illegal immigrants for the past decade. It wasn’t until recently that County Executive Dow Constantine put pressure the companies that fuel those planes to stop service ICE flights or else lose their contracts with the County.
“Sanctuary policies say that the local jurisdiction won’t cooperate with ICE. Here (Constantine) is taking it a step further and blacklisting companies that do business with ICE. This crosses the line probably into obstruction of Justice.” said the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s spokesperson.
ICE actually operates a detention center in Tacoma where they detain illegal immigration while their cases go through the court systems. Because of this debacle ICE has been driving three hours to another airport.
According to Bryan Wilcox, ICE’s acting field operations director in Seattle, “state and local efforts thwarting ICE operations serve only to create additional security concerns and add significant delays and costs to U.S. taxpayers.”
Some of these illegal immigrants deported with flights from King County Airport include a Mexican citizen who is wanted for human trafficking, a Guatemalan man that has been charged with torture and murder and a Honduran man who is accused of rape and murder.
County Executive Constantine received a cease and desist letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation Department. According to the DOT General Counsel Steven Bradbury “Federal law expressly prohibits the enforcement of any such directive.”
The letter cites the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act which states that “specifically bars local governments from prohibiting or restricting particular types of air transportation.”