Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González Welcome Passage of Resolution in Support of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019

If H.R.6 Were Enacted, 17,200 Residents in Seattle Region Would Gain Path to Citizenship

SEATTLE (May 28, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González today welcomed the City Council’s vote to approve their joint resolution in support of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6). If passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the President, the Dream and Promise Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for people who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED).

The joint resolution supports legislation from House Democrats led by Congresswomen Roybal-Allard, Velasquez, and Clarke and is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. The resolution specifically supports permanent protection and a path to citizenship for immigrant youth, including those with DACA status, and TPS and DED holders, recognizing the contributions of the over 17,200 Seattle-region residents who would be protected under the bill’s provisions.

“Too many of our immigrant neighbors have been living with uncertainty and fear. These workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators have devoted years of their lives to help strengthen both our great city and country. They’ve raised families, volunteered for their communities, and are part of the fabric of our City,” said Mayor Durkan. “We need Congress to find a solution that protects a place in our City for these community members’ hard work, keeps families together, and makes our communities safer. The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 would do just that.”

“As the daughter of immigrants who were once undocumented, my family has experienced firsthand what it means to become a full citizen of this great country. The DREAM and Promise Act is necessary legislation, long overdue, and most importantly, the right thing to do for our DACA-mented, TPS, and DED neighbors in our communities. A path to citizenship will change the trajectory for millions of young people who are American in every sense of the word and their values, except for one barrier: citizenship. The impact of passing this legislation will mean full citizenship for so many and it will lift up our economy and strengthen our communities in ways we can only dream of,” said Councilmember González (Position 9, Citywide).

“I am proud to have played a leadership role in helping to craft and pass through the House Judiciary Committee the most progressive version yet of The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Within weeks, Democrats will bring this bill to the House floor for final passage. This historic legislation will provide critical and permanent relief to over 2 million people across the country, keeping families together, establishing a roadmap to citizenship for millions of Dreamers and recipients of Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure and positively impacting our workforce and economy. I am grateful to Mayor Durkan and the Seattle City Council for continuously standing up for immigrants, making our city a welcoming place and paying this resolution of support for the legislation. As one of only 14 immigrants in the U.S. Congress and as a longtime immigrant rights activist, I know that this is a critical first step, but certainly not the last. Congress must now also advance commonsense solutions for the 11 million undocumented Americans who are integral to our communities and establish a fair and humane immigration process—one that values the dignity and contributions of immigrants, upholds our family immigration system and advances the rights of everyone,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal.

It has been nearly three decades since Congress has taken meaningful action to reform our country’s immigration system. In April 2019, Mayor Durkan led a letter to President Trump calling on him to take three key steps to address this country’s broken immigration system:

  1. Address the humanitarian crisis at the border with increased resources to process asylum claims, including more immigration judges to adjudicate cases and address the current backlog;
  2. Abandon the ill-advised and unlawful effort to transform local law enforcement agencies into federal immigration officials; and
  3. Work with Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act now.

The City of Seattle, through the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA), supports DACA youth and their families. Under Mayor Durkan’s leadership, City of Seattle investments have supported over 50 community education events, along with outreach and education to over 5,300 people about their rights regarding DACA, and has helped fund over 400 individual consultations for legal relief, family separation planning, and DACA fee assistance.

Immigrants account for more than 18 percent of our population. Twenty-two percent of the Seattle population speaks a language other than English at home. Between 2000 and 2014, Seattle’s immigrant population grew 20 percent, as compared to 14 percent for the total population.

The City of Seattle is a Welcoming City – immigrants and refugees are welcome here. For more information on the City of Seattle’s Welcoming City policies, please click here.