Durkan: Proposal sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities ‘inhumane’

“It is against our values to use people – including children and families in crisis – as political pawns”

For my money there just isn’t enough of this kind of hypocrisy in politics today…

Source: Durkan: Proposal sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities ‘inhumane’

Following threats from President Trump to place illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities — Seattle among them — Mayor Jenny Durkan responded, calling the proposal “inhumane.”

“It is against our values to use people – including children and families in crisis – as political pawns,” Mayor Durkan said in a Friday news release. “Seattle will continue to fight for the dignity of every person and will not allow any administration to use the power of America to destroy the promise of America.”

Trump’s threats came in the form Tweets Friday morning, citing “the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws,” claiming the “Radical Left” supports open borders.

According to the president, “strong considerations” are on the table for sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities largely considered to be Democratic strongholds, including San Francisco and Seattle. For Durkan, one of the primary concerns regards safety.

“Time and again, we have seen this administration weaken the moral standing of America and undermine true public safety,” Durkan’s statement continued.

Other leaders of states and cities with declared sanctuary statuses for illegal immigrants were equally as critical of Trump’s proposal, most notably California Gov. Gavin Newson.

“It’s ludicrous. It’s petulant. I have a 7-year-old, he would be embarrassed,” Newsom said in an interview with CBS.

Pushback from prominent conservatives was also prevalent, including KTTH’s own, Michael Medved.

“Yes, #SanctuaryCities are a terrible idea, but ‘punishing’ these towns by depositing busloads of asylum seekers on their doorsteps, is even worse,” he Tweeted out Friday. “Aside from treating humans like animal pests, it abuses power and wastes taxpayer money to stage a dumb, destructive political stunt.”

According to a New York Times report, one Homeland Security official dubbed the proposal “an unnecessary operational burden” on Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Controversial tiny house village for homelessness in North Seattle to close | The Seattle Times

“They weren’t getting into housing at the rate we wanted,” Lemke said. In response, the city instituted a performance improvement plan for the site.

This was the first sanctioned village in Seattle that doesn’t require sobriety; it’s also the first to be shut down.

The city of Seattle plans to shut down the Licton Springs tiny-house village after March, bringing to an end one of the most controversial city efforts to help house homeless people.

The decision to let Licton Springs’ two-year permit expire next spring marks the first time Seattle has closed one of its tiny-house villages since it began opening them in 2015. Seattle, with a ninth village set to open next month, has embraced the tiny-house strategy to fight homelessness as aggressively as any city in the nation.

Representatives with SHARE/WHEEL, the activist nonprofit that handles day-to-day management of the camp, were informed of the city’s decision Tuesday, according to an organization spokesperson who spoke on background. The group was shocked but will try to persuade the city to change its mind, the person said.

The decision on Licton Springs, and recent moves to cut funding for SHARE/WHEEL shelters in next year’s budget, signal a clear evolution in Seattle’s approach to the villages, who should run them and how.

The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless is funded by BECU, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Campion Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Seattle Mariners, and Starbucks. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over Project Homeless content.

Licton Springs opened on Aurora Avenue North in April 2017 as part of the city’s effort to address a steep rise in the population of homeless people sleeping outside, many of them dealing with substance abuse. The site was controversial from the beginning because residents are allowed to use alcohol and drugs, something not permitted at the other city-sanctioned encampments.

That was a draw for many of the city’s hardest-to-serve homeless people who had previously refused offers of shelter. But it incensed residents of the surrounding north Seattle neighborhood; calls for police service on the block where Licton Springs sits spiked 62 percent in a year, according to a Seattle Times analysis.

The homes are usually no bigger than 120 square feet, often equipped with electricity but no plumbing, raising concerns about their fitness for human habitation. But they are cheaper than most shelters, and far cheaper than building new subsidized housing.

After learning of the camp’s closure, neighborhood resident Michael Armijo, who said he had lost sleep over his safety concerns, had mixed emotions but was generally relieved.

“I am happy that it seems to be acknowledged that we need to do better,” Armijo said.

Fifty-three people still live in Licton Springs; 39 of them have been living there more than a year, said Will Lemke, spokesman for the city’s Human Services Department. Most of them had significant challenges and disabilities, Lemke said, including chronic mental-health issues and substance abuse.

Source: Controversial tiny house village for homelessness in North Seattle to close | The Seattle Times