SEATTLE – Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) and her colleagues reaffirmed Seattle’s support for immigrant communities and DACA program recipients with passage today of two related resolutions. Resolution 31779, affirms the City’s support of immigrant communities; and, Resolution 31775, strengthens public safety by affirming the City’s support for immigrant and refugee witnesses, survivors, and victims of crime. Each passed with unanimous support.
“We cannot be complacent,” added González. “If we fail to protect vulnerable communities by allowing state or local policies and rhetoric targeting immigrants we will also be failing to uphold the values of ethnic, racial, and socio-economic diversity, and prosperity for all.”
In her remarks prior to the final vote, González reminded her colleagues of their moral obligation to be vigilant on behalf of the community of immigrants, and the power of adopting clear and transparent protocols for the certification of I-918B forms. Also known as U-Visas, I-918B forms serve to encourage immigrants who might otherwise under report criminal activity or avoid engagement with law enforcement altogether, to do safely do so. “I have a long history — professionally and politically — of standing with victims and survivors from all walks of life. The City of Seattle will continue this legacy no matter who occupies the White House and regardless of the threats — both real and perceived,” said González.
Earlier this year City Council and now-Mayor Burgess developed policies to protect vulnerable communities, including but not limited to strong privacy protections limiting the collection of confidential personal immigration status information; and, a commitment of resources for immigrant communities, including a $1 million investment in the Seattle King County Legal Defense Network.
“All Seattle residents, regardless of language spoken, ethnicity, nationality, or immigration status, have the right to feel safe calling the police to report a crime—as either a witness or victim,” said Mayor Tim Burgess. “Earlier this year, Councilmember Gonzalez and I partnered to identify resources to establish the City Legal Defense Fund. I am proud that Seattle is leading the nation in protecting the rights of our immigrant and refugee neighbors by taking actions that reflect our values as an inclusive city.”
Mayor Burgess is expected to expedite the bill signing with a ceremony on site, and in the company of Councilmember González, representatives from Washington Dream Coalition, OneAmerica, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network) and other community organizations following this afternoon’s Full Council meeting.
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061
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