43.17.420  <<  43.17.425 >>   End of Chapter

Immigration and citizenship statusState agency restrictions.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, no state agency, including law enforcement, may use agency funds, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to investigate, enforce, cooperate with, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal registration or surveillance programs or any other laws, rules, or policies that target Washington residents solely on the basis of race, religion, immigration, or citizenship status, or national or ethnic origin. This subsection does not apply to any program with the primary purpose of providing persons with services or benefits, or to RCW 9.94A.685.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the state agencies listed in subsections (5) and (6) of this section shall review their policies and identify and make any changes necessary to ensure that:
(a) Information collected from individuals is limited to the minimum necessary to comply with subsection (3) of this section;
(b) Information collected from individuals is not disclosed except as necessary to comply with subsection (3) of this section or as permitted by state or federal law;
(c) Agency employees may not condition services or request information or proof regarding a person's immigration status, citizenship status, or place of birth; and
(d) Public services are available to, and agency employees shall serve, all Washington residents without regard to immigration or citizenship status.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) of this section prohibits the collection, use, or disclosure of information that is:
(a) Required to comply with state or federal law;
(b) In response to a lawfully issued court order;
(c) Necessary to perform agency duties, functions, or other business, as permitted by statute or rule, conducted by the agency that is not related to immigration enforcement;
(d) Required to comply with policies, grants, waivers, or other requirements necessary to maintain funding; or
(e) In the form of deidentified or aggregated data, including census data.
(4) Any changes to agency policies required by this section must be made as expeditiously as possible, consistent with agency procedures. Final policies must be published.
(5) The following state agencies shall begin implementation of this section within twelve months after May 21, 2019, and demonstrate full compliance by December 1, 2021:
(a) Department of licensing;
(b) Department of labor and industries;
(c) Employment security department;
(d) Department of revenue;
(e) Department of health;
(f) Health care authority;
(g) Department of social and health services;
(h) Department of children, youth, and families;
(i) Office of the superintendent of public instruction;
(j) State patrol.
(6) The following state agencies may begin implementation of this section by December 1, 2021, and must demonstrate full compliance by December 1, 2023:
(a) Department of agriculture;
(b) Department of financial institutions;
(c) Department of fish and wildlife;
(d) Department of natural resources;
(e) Department of retirement systems;
(f) Department of services for the blind;
(g) Department of transportation.


Findings2019 c 440: "(1) The legislature finds that Washington state has a thriving economy that spans both east and west, and encompasses agriculture, food processing, timber, construction, health care, technology, and the hospitality industries.
(2) The legislature also finds that Washington employers rely on a diverse workforce to ensure the economic vitality of the state. Nearly one million Washingtonians are immigrants, which is one out of every seven people in the state. Immigrants make up over sixteen percent of the workforce. In addition, fifteen percent of all business owners in the state were born outside the country, and these business owners have a large impact on the economy through innovation and the creation of jobs. Immigrants make a significant contribution to the economic vitality of this state, and it is essential that the state have policies that recognize their importance to Washington's economy.
(3) In recognition of this significant contribution to the overall prosperity and strength of Washington state, the legislature, therefore, has a substantial and compelling interest in ensuring the state of Washington remains a place where the rights and dignity of all residents are maintained and protected in order to keep Washington working." [ 2019 c 440 § 1.]
Construction2019 c 440: "No section of this act is intended to limit or prohibit any state or local agency or officer from:
(1) Sending to, or receiving from, federal immigration authorities the citizenship or immigration status of a person, or maintaining such information, or exchanging the citizenship or immigration status of an individual with any other federal, state, or local government agency, in accordance with 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1373; or
(2) Complying with any other state or federal law." [ 2019 c 440 § 8.]
Conflict with federal requirements2019 c 440: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and this finding does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act in its application to the agencies concerned. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state." [ 2019 c 440 § 9.]
Effective date2019 c 440: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 21, 2019]." [ 2019 c 440 § 12.]
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