State agency will no longer give personal information to authorities

State agency stops giving personal info to feds

  • The Associated Press
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:43pm
  • News

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Licensing said it will no longer release personal information to federal immigration authorities without a court order unless required by law.

The agency announced the change Monday following a report in The Seattle Times last week that showed the department was handing over personal information to federal authorities 20 to 30 times a month.

Washington is one of the few states that allow people without proof of legal U.S. residency to get driver’s licenses.

Officials also said the agency would end its practice of collecting “information that isn’t mandated and could be misused,” such as information on license applications about where a person was born.

The agency also announced the resignation of Deputy Director Jeff DeVere, who oversaw compliance with an executive order signed last year by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to prevent state employees from helping federal officials enforce immigration laws.

Inslee, a critic of Republican President Donald Trump, has said Trump’s immigration policies were “mean-spirited” and break up families.

When information was passed to federal authorities, the Department of Licensing redacted a field on the driver’s-license application showing whether someone has a Social Security number but left visible fields showing where someone was born.

In a statement about changes at the agency, DOL Director Pat Kohler apologized, saying “our work did not align with our state’s values.”

She said DOL didn’t clearly communicate the nature of federal law enforcement requests to Inslee and the Legislature and failed to seek clarification about how to handle certain queries about records concerning criminal and civil immigration violations.

Inslee said “recent revelations about our state Department of Licensing’s failure to safeguard certain information from federal immigration officials has shaken and angered many communities. It has angered me.”

He said he would support efforts in the Legislature to support immigrants.

More in News

Wind returns for Day 3 of Race to Alaska

Teams pushing north along Vancouver Island

Port Townsend pool on track to open in July

Task force favors Chimacum Park for replacement

‘Positive support’ shown for Recompete grant

Port of PA extends lease with Homeland Security

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes as Al Oman and Jo Johnston look on during preparations on Wednesday for Sunday’s playground opening of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. The playground, rebuilt by volunteers in May after much of it was destroyed by arson in December, will host an official reopening and dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Reopening ceremony Sunday

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes… Continue reading

Port Townsend, YMCA sued over 2022 pool ban

Confrontation with transgender employee at center of lawsuit

More muscle than wind in Phase 2 of Race to Alaska

Winds die down, force sailors to alternate with human power

Chris Fidler.
Port Angeles man honored with Distinguished Alumni award

Chris Fidler of Port Angeles has received the Distinguished Alumni… Continue reading

Members of the Makah Tribe bring a gray whale to shore on May 18, 1999. A federal ruling Thursday will allow the tribe to take 25 whales in a 10-year period. (Peninsula Daily News file)
Makah Tribe granted waiver to hunt gray whales

Ruling to allow tribe 25 in 10-year period

Team Roscoe Pickle Train of Port Townsend, which includes Chris Iruz, Enzo Dougherty, Odin Smith and Pearl Smith, were first out of the Victoria Inner Harbour at the start of the Race to Alaska on Tuesday. The cannon fired at noon and 38 racers headed to Ketchikan, a 750-mile contest that started in Port Townsend on Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Racers restart in Victoria on their way to Alaska

One rescued by Coast Guard; two others try wheeling over land

Sequim city council members approved a $2.45 million purchase of 16.52 acres off West Hendrickson Road to be used for a future park. It remains closed to the public as it’s being leased for agricultural use until plans and funding can be put in place for the future park. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim purchases 16 acres for park

City negotiated with McCord family for 2 years

Clallam sheriff pursuing $9.6M grant for public safety facility

Defense program geared to supporting military installations