Democrats in Washington state will lose a critical investigative tool needed for apprehending dangerous criminals of all backgrounds in order to protect illegal alien criminals. To what lengths are sanctuary politicians willing to go in order to shield even the worst criminal aliens from detection? They are willing to burn down the rest of the criminal justice system and endanger all public safety if it means protecting just one more illegal alien sex offender or drunk driver.
Last week, KTTH, a conservative talk radio station in Seattle, reported that King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht abruptly pulled her agency out of an important law enforcement sharing tool for fear that ICE would see the information put on it.
The Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) is a database of crime incident reporting used by over 2,000 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to share information about criminal events in a given area of operations. It is designed and operated by the U.S. Navy.
LInX is very useful to detectives seeking to find fugitives or crack a case because they can draw upon arrest information put on the system by other law enforcement agencies. For example, if one agency is looking for a fugitive sex offender and he is pulled over for a traffic stop by another police department, LInX would be one of the first ways the detective would discover the criminal he is looking for.
Well, the system is effective enough in catching fugitives that King County, Washington, law enforcement feared that continued use of the system would violate the county’s ordinance of not sharing any information on immigration status with ICE. So they are concerned about violating a local ordinance, but evidently have no concern about violating federal law.
According to KTTH, Undersheriff Scott Somers said in an email to employees that the department had no choice but to terminate its participation in LInX:
“We could not reach a solution that insured that the civil immigration functions would not have access, especially when viewed from a national level,” Somers said in the email. “We had no alternative other than to terminate our membership and information sharing with LInX. This included the removal of all of our information from their system. Agency access to LInX was cut off per the agreement.”
Federal law (8 U.S.C. 1373) prohibits state and local government from “in any way restrict[ing], any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” 8 U.S.C. 1324 also prohibits individuals, whether in government or in advocacy groups, from encouraging, inducing, harboring, shielding from detection, or transporting illegal aliens in any way or attempting to do so.
Chris Hajec, director of litigation for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, told CR that this would be the classic paradigm of actively shielding an illegal alien from detection described in statute. “For example, if they used the database but did not upload to it to deny information to ICE, they would be shielding illegal aliens from detection.”
What is astounding here is how much King County officials are willing to endanger public safety in order to make a political statement on behalf of illegal aliens. By definition, anyone roped into LInX is going to be someone apprehended for a crime other than being here illegally. So not only are they unwilling to assist in deporting criminal aliens, they are willing to hamper efforts to solve criminal cases dealing even with American criminals. They are willing to burn down the entire system if that means criminal aliens get to stay.