Judge blocks Burien ballot measure to repeal “sanctuary” policies

Burien City Hall. (Photo by Burien Parks via Flickr.)

A measure that would have asked voters whether to repeal Burien’s so-called “sanctuary city” policies will not be on the November ballot, after a judge ruled last week that the initiative overreached.

King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns said Measure 1 “exceeds the scope of the initiative authority granted to the people of the City of Burien, that it is administrative in nature,” according to The B-Town Blog, a news site that focuses on Burien.

A political committee called Burien Communities for Inclusion sued the city and the county to block the ballot measure, as well as the political committee that backed the initiative, Respect Washington.

The city council earlier this year approved the ordinance blocking city officials from asking about immigration status or religion. The law is similar to ones in other cities, including Seattle. President Donald Trump’s administration has challenged cities with such policies, saying that such policies are a refusal to cooperate with federal immigration law.

More than 3,600 people — including the city’s Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and council members Bob Edgar and Debi Wagner  — signed an initiative to repeal the ordinance. But many who spoke before the Burien City Council objected to the initiative, saying that it would endanger city residents by making Burien residents fearful of the police and less likely to report crimes.

Further reading

The B-Town Blog: King County Judge orders sanctuary repeal measure off Burien’s Nov. ballot

The Seattle Globalist: Burien voters will decide whether to revoke “sanctuary city” law