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Mayor Jenny Durkan Leads Bipartisan Coalition of U.S. Mayors in Condemning DOJ and DHS Treatment of Immigrant Families

Mayors Across the County Join Durkan to Support Vacating Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Convictions

Seattle (June 11) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan led a bipartisan coalition of U.S. mayors in condemning the Department of Justice’s and Department of Homeland Security’s treatment of immigrant families and committing to criminal justice reform by calling on cities to vacate misdemeanor marijuana vacation convictions in states where recreational marijuana is now legal. At the 86th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors held in Boston, Mayor Durkan introduced resolutions on both issues, which were adopted unanimously today by a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 American mayors.

The first emergency resolution introduced by Mayor Durkan and adopted by the coalition of mayors condemns DOJ and DHS’ extreme “zero tolerance” policy of separating children from their families at the border and endorses policies to allow families apprehended to remain together to the extent possible, to help avoid the heartbreak and irreversible trauma of forced separation. The resolution also calls on Congress to take immediate action to end this policy through legislation.

“Mayors from across the country know that the Trump Administration is wrong to rip families apart,” said Mayor Durkan. “We have seen time and again that cities are willing to stand strong against this Administration’s cruel and inhumane immigration policies. We recognize that the practice of indefinitely separating kids from their parents is a repulsive policy, inconsistent with our values as Americans. Tearing families apart traumatizes children and torments immigrants who have already endured grueling trials in their escape from violence and terror.”

The second resolution builds off the successes in Seattle and calls on local governments in states where marijuana has been legalized to vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions for conduct that is now legal. Recognizing the failures of the decades-long war on drugs that has devastated communities of color across our nation and incarcerated a disproportionate and unprecedented amount of people from those communities, this resolution recognizes the obligation of governments to recognize and correct injustices.

“Vacating charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession is a necessary step to correct the injustices of what was a failed War on Drugs, which disproportionately affected communities of color in our nation,” said Mayor Durkan. “The unanimous passage of this resolution proves that city leaders recognize the harm that the failed policies had on people who needed opportunity and treatment. I encourage local leaders to act with urgency in their own cities to give their residents – including immigrants and refugees – a clean slate.”

Mayor Durkan’s resolutions as well as the full list of adopted resolutions of the Criminal and Social Justice Committee for the 86th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors can be found here.