OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington State Department of Licensing says it will no longer release personal information to federal immigration authorities without a court order unless required by law.
The agency announced the change Monday following a report in The Seattle Times last week that showed the Department of Licensing was handing over personal information to federal authorities 20 to 30 times a month. The policy was surprising to many because Washington is one of the few states that allow people without proof of legal U.S. residency to get driver’s licenses.
Authorities also said the agency would end its practice of collecting “information that isn’t mandated and could be misused,” like information on license applications about where a person was born.
The agency also announced the resignation of Deputy Director Jeff DeVere. DeVere oversaw compliance with an executive order Gov. Jay Inslee signed last year to prevent state employees from helping federal officials enforce immigration laws.