The U.S. Justice Department is suing King County to force it to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation flights to leave from Boeing Field, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced Monday. King County announced last year that it would seek to stop ICE-chartered flights from using county-owned Boeing Field to send immigrants to their home countries or to bring others in from around the country for incarceration at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Monday, says the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and federal law do not allow the county to discriminate against federal contractors or to impose obstacles to enforcing federal immigration laws. Washington’s two U.S. Attorneys, both appointees of President Donald Trump, in a joint news conference on Monday, announced the lawsuit, describing it as one part of the federal government’s attempt to crack down on so-called sanctuary policies, in which states and localities decline to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
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