OLYMPIA – State Senators Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, and Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, issued the following statement regarding asylum-seekers who were separated from their children and recently moved to a Bureau of Prisons detention center in SeaTac:

“We condemn the treatment of these mothers separated from their children and currently being held here in SeaTac. The Trump administration’s new family separation policy is both deplorable and inhumane, and these immigrant families fleeing legitimate violence and persecution do not belong in federal detention.
“Families with valid claims for refugee and asylum status deserve dignity and respect – this treatment in no way aligns with our Washington values.
“Washington has worked hard to earn a reputation as a welcoming state, which is why our economy depends on the energy and talent of immigrants. In 2018, Senate Bill 5689 was introduced to protect the state and our economy from reckless federal immigration policy. The treatment of these families is just another example of the damage these policies are having on the country.
“It also sends a troubling message of intolerance to immigrant families already living in Washington state. We worry that these actions will have detrimental effects on our communities, discouraging immigrant families from reporting crimes, seeking social services or going to work. This is simply not who we are in Washington state.”