A Tacoma woman wrote to praise Gov. Jay Inslee for “doing an excellent job” standing up to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
A Utah man wrote that he was “fed up” with people opposing Trump’s immigration policy and announced his family had canceled a vacation to the Washington coast.
The praise — and condemnation — of Inslee’s opposition to Trump’s travel restrictions has come from all over Washington, from across the country, and from as far away as Europe.
Between Jan. 21 and March 13, Inslee received at least 2,905 messages related to immigration through the contact form on the governor’s official website, according to information obtained through a public-records request by The Seattle Times.
Since the beginning of the governor’s second term, “no topic has received as much feedback as immigration,” Inslee spokeswoman Tara Lee wrote in an email.
The notes on immigration have poured in from Bremerton and Bellevue, from Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Wenatchee. People have written from as far away as Michigan, New York, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
Some of messages came after Trump’s first attempt to put travel restrictions on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries. While that effort was stopped by a federal judge in Seattle, it spurred Inslee and other officials to speak Jan. 28 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“I was deeply moved by and grateful for your remarks at SeaTac on Saturday, which powerfully represented my and others of your constituents’ views on this matter,” wrote one Bainbridge Island man.
“You have my full support and I am proud of my state,” wrote a Seattle woman.
Others expressed their dismay. One Bremerton woman wrote that she expected Inslee to follow federal laws, “until such time as they are changed.”
“Until that day happens you and your office need to stop working from your ‘feelings’ and uphold the law regardless if you like it or not,” the woman wrote.
A man from SeaTac wrote: “Please stop being a partisan democratic governor and serve all Washington voters.”
The Utah man who canceled a vacation trip to the Washington coast said his family would not be coming to the state again.
“I hope other travelers follow suit and you start hearing from businesses that will be effected [sic] by your decision on Illegal immigration in this country,” he wrote.
Inslee has received a lot of email on other subjects as wide-ranging as gun control, wolves, the death penalty and the breaching of the Snake River dams, Lee said. During the presidential campaign, the governor received many messages urging him to support Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
Inslee and his staff get a weekly report on topics that are drawing feedback.
“The report provides a sense of pros and cons on an issue, but not the specific content of individual emails,” Lee wrote. “I am told that they do provide the governor with specific ones from time to time.”
Emails received through the web contact form get an automatic response. Sometimes the governor’s staff members respond to a message to learn more, or to put people in contact with related agencies or other resources.
Sometimes it isn’t necessary to put someone in touch with state agencies — like when the sender writes from Scandinavia.
“I just saw your speech at SEATAC on my iPad,” wrote a woman in Sweden, who said that she’d previously lived in the Tri-Cities. “Thank you so much for speaking up!”