Today, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) issued the following statements after Council passed a resolution affirming the City of Seattle’s commitment as a welcoming city by a unanimous vote (9-0):
“The day after President Trump was elected, I vowed that Seattle would remain a welcoming city for all immigrants and refugees,” said Mayor Murray. “One out of every five Seattle residents are born outside the United States and over 120 languages are spoken in our public schools. We must ensure we stand united to protect communities targeted by hate and discrimination. This resolution sends a clear message that the City is an ally of all residents no matter their nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation, or immigration status.”
“The City of Seattle relies on its immigrant and refugee residents to foster our economic growth and cultural vibrancy. Seattle is at its best when we work to integrate and support our immigrant and refugee neighbors not isolate and punish them because of their nationality,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González. “We recommit to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those who may be targeted by the Trump Administration and reject his attempts to bully us into abandoning our values of inclusion and opportunity. Today, City Council stood as one to affirm that the City of Seattle is a welcoming city and we will do whatever necessary to keep it that way.”
In November of 2016, Mayor Murray signed an Executive Order directing City employees to not ask about the status of residents, reaffirmed all City services are available to all residents, and created an Inclusive and Equitable City Cabinet to coordinate City efforts to protect civil liberties and civil rights of Seattle residents. Additionally, the City set aside $250,000 to address the needs of unauthorized immigrant students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools and their families.
Earlier this month, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs hosted a workshop to help immigrant residents with naturalization applications, legal consultations with immigration attorneys, assistance with legal forms in the event of family separation, and document services with the Mexican Consulate. Seven-hundred-and-fifty people volunteered, serving over 1,000 immigrant and refugees during the workshop.