Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore issued a statement on Tuesday, February 21st clarifying that the City does not gather immigration status information from community members seeking services from the City nor during police contacts with the public. Moore read the statement aloud during the Yakima City Council business meeting on February 21st.
The statement in its entirety can be seen in both Spanish and English on the City’s website by clicking on the following link – http://bit.ly/2lMyAAO
“First and foremost,” Moore said in the statement, “when accessing City of Yakima municipal services, in no instance will a community member be asked about or required to provide documentation of immigration status. This includes the Yakima Police Department which does not have legal authority to enforce federal laws, including those pertaining to immigration status,” said Moore.
“YPD officers do not inquire about immigration status when interacting with the public nor do officers inquire about immigration status on behalf of any federal agency,” Moore said in the statement. “If arrested by the police, immigration status is not something YPD checks.”
Moore issued the statement in light of recent discussions in Yakima and across the U.S. about the role of local law enforcement in immigration issues. Moore noted in the statement that the Yakima Police Department does not inquire about immigration status during contacts with the public and that it is the practice of all City divisions and departments to gather only the information necessary when providing services to community members. That information does not include immigration status.
“To open a water/sewer account, you will need to demonstrate you are authorized to do so for the property, which will require establishing your identity,” Moore said in the statement as an example of the City’s practices. “If you are calling 911 for assistance, you will be asked for your name, the address, and specifics about the event you are reporting.”
But the City does not gather any information about a community member’s immigration status. That responsibility, Moore said, falls to the federal government, not local government.
Moore did mention in the statement that the City, including the Yakima Police Department, does work in partnership in some instances with federal agencies. For example, the police department does provide assistance to federal agents on active criminal investigations. However, the department does not take any enforcement action regarding immigration because it is not authorized by law to do so.
Moore encouraged anyone with questions about the City’s practices with regard to the provision of services to contact his office by calling 575-6040.