PORT TOWNSEND — More than 60 people gathered outside the Port Townsend post office to show support for immigrants and to protest President Donald Trump’s campaign promises of a border wall and the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
“It was done spontaneously, which is what made it so amazing,” said Libby Palmer, one of the women who organized the protest.
Palmer said she was upset by the reports of recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that has led to the arrests of more than 600 people across the county.
“The main thing is the cruel separation of families,” Palmer said. “It’s a political and cruel maneuver on Trump’s part. The Constitution applies to everyone who’s in the county and most people who come here want to be citizens. It’s also a long and expensive process.”
Palmer reached out to some of the local women she knew through the Women’s March in January and brought a car full of protest signs and gathered more than 60 community members of all ages for the hour-long protest.
“I decided I would go down to a federal building and have some sort of protest against ICE raids,” Palmer said. “It was a real testament to social media that so many people came.”
Jefferson County Commissioner Kathleen Kler was among those who attended.
“I walked down here from the courthouse,” Kler said. “It was a conscious decision as a concerned citizen.”
Protesters also encouraged others attend Monday night’s city council meeting where the council was set to hear input on labeling Port Townsend a sanctuary city.
“I think now they have more examples, like Seattle’s welcoming city, so it won’t be just a document,” Palmer said.
Port Townsend has passed resolutions that protect undocumented immigrants in Port Townsend, last updated in December 2016. Jefferson County recently passed a proclamation that promises the protection of civil and human rights for all people in Jefferson County, undocumented immigrants included.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].