Seattle and King County Welcome Immigrants

In the aftermath of federal decisions, Seattle and King County are stepping up and stepping out on the issue of immigrant rights.

In a vote Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Seattle School Board unanimously approved a decision to declare the District a “sanctuary district.” Seattle Public Schools staff will never ask for a student’s immigration status nor will they allow access to student records to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The Board is one of over a dozen school boards to make such a decision in light of federal efforts to curb illegal immigration. Others are expected to follow. To learn more about the Board’s decision, check out the Seattle Times’ recent coverage.

On the same day as Seattle Public Schools’ announcement, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced funding for rapid response services for immigrants and refugees. One time funding of $750,000 will support services to help immigrants navigate the naturalization process, provide education on immigrant rights, and fund legal defense. Executive Constantine said, “People in our community are afraid — afraid for their human rights, their families, and their safety. Our message to the White House, the country, and the rest of the world is clear: We proudly uphold the fundamental American promise that we are — and will be — a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all.”

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In light of the current political climate, we compiled some resources for SBHC providers and staff that you may find helpful.

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