city council

The majority of the community members in attendance of the city councils vote on an ordinance to ban ICE from greyhound bus stations turn their backs at a citizen speaking in support of the immigration and customs enforcement's right to check citizenship papers there.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents have been entering Greyhound and Amtrak stations without warrants, according to the Washington State ACLU.

On Monday, the Spokane City Council passed an ordinance aimed at protecting passenger rights. 

The ordinance passed with 6 to 1 vote and immediately became law.

According to the Federal Civil Immigration Enforcement on City Property Ordinance brought before the council, there would be no financial cost to the city if passed. 

Furthermore, it establishes the mayor as the “only official that can grant access to an agency or individual for the purposes of conducting federal civil immigration enforcement operations in nonpublic areas of the city.”

The future of the law isn’t quite clear. According to reports on Tuesday, Mayor David Condon said federal laws prohibit the city from stopping ICE agents.

The ordinance seeks to protect Fourth Amendment rights by disallowing agencies and individuals from accessing nonpublic areas of Spokane, specifically for federal immigration enforcement. 

On Monday, standing outside of City Hall, just 15 minutes before the meeting began, were representatives from Congressional candidate Lisa Brown. 

Inside City Hall were members of the ACLU, passing out yellow pins while a line of people signed up to speak in support of the measure. 

The City Council Chambers were packed wall-to-wall with people, some overflowing into the lobby.

The night began with a performance by Bethany Montgomery, the founder of Power to Poetry, something that is unusual for a City Council meeting.

Montgomery’s poem read “45 does not understand the importance of family.” In this instance, 45 is a reference to President Trump. 

City Council President Ben Stuckart said the ordinance originated in February 2017 when he was sitting in the Hemmingson Ballroom to listen to refugees share stories and fears they have about their future. 

Shortly after, Stuckart learned the extent of the presence of Border Patrol and ICE on buses and Greyhound and Amtrak stations, including the one in Spokane. 

Stuckart said the City Council met with border patrol and attempted to make a compromise before resorting to an ordinance. The Border Patrol responded by adding 30 additional agents to the Spokane area, which cost taxpayers $250,000 this year, according to Stuckart.  

People of all backgrounds made their presence known to show their support for the ordinance. 

“The more stigma and the more fear there is in the community for undocumented people, the less they  can access health care, and the more risk there is for public health overall,” said family physician Louis Manriquez. 

Several representatives from Planned Parenthood, Spokane Coalition of Color, pastors and lawyers spoke Monday night.

Most of those attending the meeting stood up during the testimonies of others and remained standing during the entire duration of the council meeting. When community members heard the testimony of one woman speaking out against the ordinance, the majority turned in the other direction, facing their backs toward the speaker. 

“If this ordinance passes, it will take the fear out of the immigrant community,” said Lili Navarrete, volunteer program manager for Planned Parenthood, who was among those who participated in the symbolic act of turning around. “I have been a Spokane resident for 30 years, and I am an immigrant from Mexico City. I have seen people be separated and detained here at the Greyhound and Amtrak train stations in Spokane.”

Mike Fagan was the only council member who voted against the ordinance, saying he believes that Border Patrol is doing the job that the federal government asks it to do, and that immigrants should come into the U.S. legally. 

The ordinance passed 6 to 1 and immediately became law.

 Karlie Murphy is a staff writer.

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(6) comments


I am very glad that Karlie Murphy attended and covered the story about this meeting and important event. A lot of area citizens do not even know that this is going on in our city, let alone,our entire nation..I am very happy that the ordinance passed.our attention. Thankyou for bringing this to


Thankyou for bringing this to our attention...


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Immigrant rights activists will rally in front of Amtrak and Greyhound headquarters to hold the travel companies accountable for taking their money and not warning them that they will face inspection and possible detention by immigration officials once on board. As a result of stepped up enforcement, New York and New Jersey corporate transportation st louis mo rights groups are seeing an increase in families detained by immigration officials when they travel by Amtrak or Greyhound bus services near the border in upstate New York. Passengers are not told that they will face inspection, and once they are on board it is too late.


Thank you for this article. As someone who has been outside the Spokane Intermodal, inside the Intermodal, and on a bus at the Intermodal dozens of times since February 2017 when US Border Patrol was present, just a clarification. To my knowledge and observation, ICE has never been present at the Intermodal. ICE has carried out enforcement activities in and around Spokane, at the Intermodal the boarding of buses and interrogating and detaining of people is carried out by green uniformed Border Patrol agents with white pickups and SUVs with the characteristic green diagonal stripe on the sides. ICE and CBP (which contains Border Patrol) are part of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as are FEMA, Secret Service, Coast Guard, and other agencies. Border Patrol is one of the most corrupt as a simple online search will reveal. The following links are to documentation related to US Border Patrol at the Intermodal. The Spokane City Council Ordinance was directed at this presence (though ineffectively to this date 7/2/19) 2/12/17 3/19/17 3/22/18 3/30/18 06/29/2018 07/07/2018 8/4/18 8/5/18 9/29/18 10/24/18 10/24/2018 11/04/18 11/10/18 11/11/18 11/12/18 11/18/18 11/27/18 one of two 11/27/18 two of two 11/29/18 12/14/2018 12/29/18 01/23/19 03/13/19 3/14/19 03/25/19 03/31/19 04/18/19 04/23/19 05/01/19 05/03/19 06/09/19 06/10/2019 06/13/2019 6/20/19 06/23/2019 06/24/19 06/25/19 6/27/19 06/29/19 06/29/19 6/30/19 07/01/19 —————- Border Patrol PR/ propaganda ————— Border Patrol involvement with Fairchild AFB and vice versa ——————- This is a link to the video of the full 10/21/2018 Spokane City Council meeting in which the City of Spokane restricted the presence of Border Patrol in the Intermodal bus and Amtrak station in downtown Spokane. Timeline: 27 min 42 sec — reading of ordinance 28 min 20 sec — Stuckart and Beggs 38 min 45 sec — public testimony Testimony lasted nearly three hours. Racist, xenophobe council member Mike Fagan spoke at 3 hr 27 min 57 sec

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