SPOKANE, Wash. - Border patrol and ICE agents will now need a warrant or permission from Spokane Mayor David Condon before questioning people in specific areas of city owned property.
The ordinance which passed 6-1 is designed to protect riders at the city's intermodal center from random screenings conducted by ICE and border patrol agents. The Spokesman Review, citing data from U.S. Border Patrol, reported in August that around 200 people had been arrested at the city owned facility since 2013.
Before Monday's vote, council members heard hours of testimony from people supporting the ordinance.
"If agents came to my house and asked to enter, I could let them in," one woman said. "But I also have the right to say show me a warrant. This ordinance is Spokane saying show me a warrant."
Not everyone was on board with the council's decision Monday night.
"They're looking for a better life for themselves, their children," one person said. "I don't blame them for that, but by the same token the United States cannot assimilate the world!"
Council member Mike Fagan cast the single vote against the ordinance.
"I believe that ICE and border patrol serve a purpose," Fagan said. "I'm not going to support this ordinance tonight. Not at all." he later added.
Border patrol agents can still stop and screen a Greyhound bus once it has left the city's intermodal facility. Mayor Condon can also grant agents access to the facility, even without a warrant.
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