SEATTLE (March 21, 2017) – Today, Mayor Murray joined a press conference call with mayors across the country to kick off a Day of Action demonstrating support for immigrants and refugees, as well as comprehensive immigration reform. Actions announced by Mayor Murray include an Immigration 101 training for City employees, including Seattle police officers who have regular interactions with residents, as well as a regional convening on immigration that is scheduled for later this spring. These actions build on Mayor Murray’s ongoing support of the immigrant and refugee community, including signing an Executive Order reaffirming Seattle as a Welcoming City and hosting Seattle’s largest-ever Citizenship Workshop.
“Today, we are standing up for civil rights of all of our residents,” said Mayor Murray. “Symbolism is important, but action is more important. And we are taking these bold actions today because we believe we have the constitution and the rule of law on our side. Our immigration system is broken for everyone — those working in our hotels, doing our farm work, as well as those working in high-tech industries. Here in Seattle, we recognize that immigrants help to make our local economy stronger, and we know this applies to our national economy as well.”
During the call, which was organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Murray, along with fellow Mayors Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), Jorge Elorza (Providence, R.I.) and Tom Tait (Anaheim, CA) stressed the important roles of cities in addressing the challenges created by our nation’s broken immigration system. In cities large and small, mayors are launching a Day of Immigration Action, with the goal of bringing together faith leaders, residents, stakeholders and community-based organizations for a variety of events that support immigrants, share with them important information about rights and available resources, and underscore their value to both the national and local economies.
Day of Action activities highlight the vital contributions immigrants make to their cities and the nation. Mayors are also urging Congress and the Trump administration to focus on commonsense reforms that will address the nation’s broken immigration system.
On the call, Mayor Murray highlighted several of the actions taken by the City of Seattle in support of immigrants and immigration reform, including:
- Issuing a “Day of Action” proclamation reaffirming Seattle as an inclusive, open, and welcoming city and calling on the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform;
- Holding an Immigration 101 training and discussion for all City employees including frontline personnel who work directly with residents such as Seattle police officers and other field staff. Mayor Murray attended the workshop which was broadcast live and recorded for later viewing;
- Signing onto the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s letter to Congress calling for comprehensive immigration reform;
- Issuing a “call to action” for Seattle residents urging them to call and/or write their federal elected officials in support of pro-immigrant and refugee policies;
- Re-launching the City’s “Welcoming City” webpage listing the many welcoming city actions that Seattle has taken since November;
- Announcing plans for a regional convening on immigration scheduled for later this spring.
At the USCM Winter Meeting in Washington in January, mayors adopted a resolution calling for enactment of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, the continuation of programs that protect the temporary status of Dreamers, and recognition of the social, economic and cultural contributions of immigrant communities nationwide.
Mayors are amplifying their message by using #MayorsStand4All across their social media platforms on March 21 and beyond.