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The Durkan Digest: Our Immigrant and Refugee Neighbors Help Make Seattle Great

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It seems like every day we wake up to new cruel and hateful policies from this president.

This week, the president announced his intent to take a step back in our country’s work to protect immigrant children.

And earlier this month, the Trump administration announced a “public charge” rule, which effectively imposes an income test on immigrants and their families applying for green cards. That contradicts the fundamental values on which the promise of America is built.

In defending this unjust step, Ken Cuccinelli, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, even tried to rewrite the iconic poem that graces the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. But I’ll remind Mr. Cuccinelli that it proclaims: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’

As the president works to dismantle longstanding protections for our immigrant and refugee families, he has also ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that distract and drain resources from real public safety threats and to purposely cause widespread fear and uncertainty for all immigrants in their daily lives.

On top of all of this, we know that the Trump administration defied the Court’s order and continues to separate families at the border and put children in inhumane and dangerous environments.

In the face of this escalating levels of hate and violence at the federal level, we need to be loud and clear:

Immigrants and refugees are woven into the fabric of our history, and they will continue to help make Seattle – and our country – great. In Seattle, we know that our immigrant and refugee communities make our City a stronger, more vibrant place. They create businesses and jobs. They create art and culture. They help teach our kids, serve in law enforcement and the military, and lead our places of faith.

Our immigrant and refugee neighbors have helped Seattle become the fastest-growing big city in the country and become home to some of the world’s most iconic companies. And we know that today’s immigrants are tomorrow’s United States citizens who should have the chance to contribute to the economic, cultural and civic life of Seattle — and our nation.

That’s why Seattle is a Welcoming City, and why we support our immigrant and refugee communities to grow and thrive in many different ways. For more information on our Welcoming City policies, please visit our Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs’ website.

If you are interested in volunteering your time for immigration organizations, you can help out at City of Seattle citizenship clinics. The first step in that process is to register here. Or, you can volunteer for any local community-based organization listed at

As always, please continue to write me at, reach out via Twitter and Facebook, and stay up-to-date on the work we’re doing for the people of Seattle on my blog.


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This blog post is an excerpt from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s weekly newsletter. If would like more content like this, and a weekly recap of the exciting things happening in the City of Seattle, you can subscribe here.