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King County to defy Trump on immigration policy, despite risk of funding cuts

King County Executive Dow Constantine celebrates the Sound Transit Board's approval of a ST3 package for the fall ballot.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols
King County Executive Dow Constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he will defy President-elect Donald Trump on immigration policy, even if it means federal funding cuts.

Constantine said he wants to work with the new Trump administration. “By any standard we have been, and want to continue to be, good partners with the federal government,” he said.  

But that's only to a certain point.  “After a divisive and often ugly election season, we must reaffirm our local values."

"Reaffirming local values" could mean a clash over immigration.

Currently the county sheriff’s office and King County Public Health do not ask about people's immigration status.  Constantine said that policy will not change.

"We will continue to offer a welcoming hand to those from around the world and around this nation who seek the opportunity to build a better life for themselves, their families, and our community," he said.

That could put federal aid for county services at risk.  Trump threatened to slash money to places that shield unauthorized immigrants.

King County says many programs, including  public health,  homeless services and transit, could be cut.

On the plus side, the county hopes any increased infrastructure spending by the Trump administration could go to help fix and replace aging roads and bridges.  

Year started with KUOW: 2004