More than 3,000 residents in Burien received a letter last week that included alleged home addresses of undocumented immigrants and described crimes they committed dating back to 2008.
The letter was sent by Respect Washington, a statewide group looking to end illegal immigration, in response to the removal of Proposition 1 from the Nov. 7 ballot, which would allow Burien citizens to vote on the city’s so-called sanctuary status.
One resident, Sarah Moore, wrote in a letter to the editor of The B-Town (Burien) Blog, “I am disturbed by all of this.” She added, “At best, it will create a fear of neighbors that may be ill founded — suppose a crime was committed in 2008, but entirely new people live there now (9 years later!), or innocent people share a home with a listed person. At worst, I hope and pray no one decides to harass or target anyone based on a list that someone they don’t know researched.”
On Oct. 30, King County Executive Dow Constantine said he was furious and joined other elected officials in denouncing the mailing. He called it, “Straight out of Trump’s playbook … This is personal…These are Trump values, not Burien values.” He went on to say that “discrimination and hate will be given no quarter in Martin Luther King County.”
According to the 2010 Census, Burien is about 20 percent Latino.
Respect Washington has led a crusade against so-called sanctuary cities in the state. Craig Keller, a West Seattle resident who has run twice, unsuccessfully, for Congress as a Republican, founded the group.
The letter also provided candidate names Burien residents should vote for in the upcoming election. The four candidates, Debi Wagner, Darla Green, Joel Manning, and Patty Janssen, have said they are not connected to this letter and do not agree with its tactics of listing physical addresses.
We urge you to join The B-Town (Burien) Blog in a letter-writing campaign to send messages of love to those whose information was listed.
1. Write letters of opposition to Respect WA. The address is: PO Box 66634, Burien, WA 98166.
2. Write a “love letter” to the targeted immigrants and drop it off at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, 15003 14th Ave. S.W., Burien, WA 98166. The letters will be delivered by Burien Represent. Look for the letter collection box outside.