Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Feb 14 2019

Ferguson File Header

Dear Friends,

My legal team prevailed twice more against the Trump Administration this month in major cases impacting all Washingtonians. We sought to prevent the 2020 Census from asking about citizenship and to protect women’s access to contraception. Every individual’s voice matters and every woman has a right to access healthcare. My office will continue to defend these basic rights.

We also announced new resources for student borrowers and partnered with sovereign tribal governments to keep our environment clean and ensure the best interests of children of Tribal Nations are prioritized.

In this issue:

Thank you for following the work of the Attorney General’s Office.

Sincerely,

Bob-Signature

Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General


Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks to media.

Major wins against the Trump Administration

Our office filed a multistate lawsuit last April challenging the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional decision to add a question of citizenship to the 2020 U.S. Census. A ruling found by a federal judge in New York this month struck down this decision to add the citizenship question.

The Constitution requires that the Census Bureau accurately count every resident in the United States every 10 years, regardless of immigration status. Roughly one in seven Washington residents is an immigrant, and one in eight native-born U.S. citizens in Washington lives with at least one immigrant.

This question would have caused a population undercount that would disproportionately harm states and cities with large immigrant communities. It would also have jeopardized significant federal funding Washington receives every year and diluted our congressional representation for the next decade.

In addition, our State was the first in the nation to block President Trump’s unlawful and harmful birth control rules.

A federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily blocked the federal birth control policy that allows employers, claiming religious or moral objections to contraception, to deny their female employees access to free birth control.  

Our office has now filed 33 lawsuits against the Trump Administration and has not lost a case.

We will continue to fight proudly against the Trump Administration on any future threats to immigrant populations and women’s healthcare.

 

The Seattle Times
Judge bars citizenship question from 2020 census  
 
KING5 News

Seattle joins lawsuit over Census citizenship question

The Stranger
Seattle joins challenge against Trump’s Census citizenship question

The Seattle Times
Judge: Women would lose birth control coverage under rules

Q13 Fox News
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states, including Washington


Attorney General's Student Loan Initiative.

Protecting student borrowers

For-profit Career Education Corporation (CEC) deceived students looking to build a better life for themselves and their families. A multistate investigation conducted by Washington and 47 other states found that CEC misrepresented the cost of attendance, graduation rates, expected future salaries for graduates and job placement rates.

Thanks our investigation, more than 3,000 Washingtonians victimized by these deceptive and misleading practices will receive more than $7.6 million in debt relief.

CEC owned two schools in Washington: Le Cordon Bleu in Seattle and Sanford-Brown in Tukwila.

Students do not need to take any action to receive relief. CEC will notify all eligible students of their debt relief within 60 days. Former students with questions about their eligibility may contact CEC by calling (844) 783-8629 or emailing CECquestions@careered.com.

Our office will hold accountable any for-profit college that tries to take advantage of the aspirations of Washington students.

This month our office also released updates to our Student Loan Survival Guide. The guide provides up-to-date information about picking a credible school, taking out loans, repayment and eligibility.

Among the updates is the new Student Loan Advocate at the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). This position was created as a result of legislation requested by our office last year. The advocate is available to help the more than 800,000 student loan borrowers understand the terms of their loans and options available to them, such as loan forgiveness and deferment.

Students can contact the advocate directly by calling (833) 881-0397, sending an email to LoanAdvocate@wsac.wa.gov or visiting their website.

Protecting students is a priority for our office. More information on our office’s student loan work is available here.

 

The Seattle Times
Washington students who attended Career Education Corporation schools will get debt relief

NPR
Nearly 180,000 students won’t have to repay loans from for-profit higher ed company


Boats in Puget Sound.
Partnering with sovereign tribal governments

My office recently partnered with sovereign tribal governments on two very important topics: preserving the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and protecting the Puget Sound from pollution.

A Texas judge recently struck down ICWA, a federal law designed to give tribal governments a strong voice in custody decisions involving Indian children. ICWA was enacted in 1978 in response to historical practices of removing Indian children from their families.  

We have joined a bipartisan coalition of 21 states, supporting the case of the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington and several other Indian Nations, in urging a federal appeals court to preserve this important Act. ICWA is vital to Tribal Nations’ survival.

Washington state is home to 29 federally recognized tribes. ICWA furthers the best interests of Indian children, helps preserve Indian families, and promotes productive government-to-government relationships between states and tribes. We strongly encourage the federal appeals court handling the case to uphold the best interest of Indian children and Tribal Nations.

This month I also announced our office’s intent to join a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy challenging their process to clean decommissioned vessels, which leads to ongoing pollution of Puget Sound. The lawsuit, filed in June 2017 by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the Washington Environmental Council and the Suquamish Tribe, cites that the Navy violated the Clean Water Act and Washington law.

Despite concerns raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Washington State Department of Ecology, the Navy proceeded to clean the hull of the ex-Independence ship in the waters of Sinclair Inlet in early 2017. The cleaning and scraping of the hull released several pollutants, including copper and zinc, into the waters and sediment of the Sinclair Inlet. Copper and zinc are highly toxic to marine life and affect the health of the entire aquatic food chain, including salmons and orcas.

Keeping Puget Sound clean is vital to the health of Washingtonians, Tribal Nations and our struggling salmon and orcas. The Navy must follow the same rules as everyone else to protect our waters.

 

NW News Network
Northwest Attorneys General join federal appeal of decision that struck down ICWA

Navy Times
Tribe, group sues Navy over ship cleaning in Puget Sound

KOMO News
AG Ferguson to sue if Navy continues to pollute Puget Sound


Attorney General Bob Ferguson at Leavenworth Rotary.

Working across Washington

This January I had the opportunity to participate in some of the many efforts taken by Washingtonians to make our state a better place. I met several refugees while touring at Jewish Family Service, spoke at the Wenatchee Women’s March and discussed employment challenges at a class on Immigration law at Highline College. I presented at the launch of the Washington Immigrant Defense Network, an important resource providing funding and support for lawyers representing low-income detained immigrants like those targeted by the Trump Administration.

I spoke at the University of Washington’s Evans Graduate School. I also attended our state’s ninth State of Reform Health Policy Conference to discuss federal threats to our residents’ health and wellbeing.

Finally, I spoke about the work of the Attorney General’s Office at Rotary club meetings in Leavenworth, Covington and Lacey.

 

The Leavenworth Echo
Attorney General Bob Ferguson joins Rotary Club for lunch


 

 
 

SUBSCRIBE to have The Ferguson File sent straight to your inbox each month.

 

Ferguson File