Saturday, October 15, 2011

Washington State Leads effort on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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WA State Leads on Immigration Reform

Washington State has seen an extraordinary amount of public support of comprehensive immigration reform from various government officials and esteemed members of the Asian Pacific Islander community.
1. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell sent letters to President Obama stressing the importance and urgency  of passing comprehensive immigration reform, making Washington State the first to have both Senators commit to pushing for reform.

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell   Source:
2. The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass Resolution 31193 supporting comprehensive immigration reform. This resolution reiterates Washington State’s commitment to fully integrate immigrants into the community in a meaningful way.

3. Members of the Washington State Legislature signed a letter directed to Senators Murray and Cantwell urging them to ask Senator Shumer to introduce a bill for comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible.

4. King County Executive Dow Constantine wrote letters to both Senators Murray and Cantwell urging both to work toward a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate.

5. Members of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition also sent a letter to Senators Murray and Cantwell stressing the importance of comprehensive immigration reform to the Asian American communities in Washington State.
6. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wrote letters to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell as well.

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The mayor of Seattle, Washington sent the following letter to Wash State Senator Patty Murry urging support for compassionate immigration reform.

March 17, 2010

Dear Senator Murray:

        Seattle has always been a city of immigrants. Immigration has been a driving force of economic growth throughout our history, and immigrants still play a key role in our economy today. With nearly 30 percent of all Seattle children in immigrant families and more than 100,000 foreign-born residents, Seattle’s history and growth have become even more strongly tied to immigration.
        The impact of a failed immigration system is felt across Seattle, by immigrant families, service providers, businesses, city agencies and other entities. Over the years, the City of Seattle has adopted policies that promote the inclusion of immigrants, resolutions that call for comprehensive immigration reform, and ordinances ensuring that city employees and police do not ask about immigration status. But local action is not enough to fully address the many issues facing our immigrant communities.
      That is why I write to you today to ask Congress to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible. Seattle needs immigration reform that:

  • Provides a path toward earned legalization and citizenship
  • Reforms visa programs to eliminate backlogs, keep families together, protect workers’ rights and ensure that future immigration is regulated and controlled
  • Enables immigrants to pursue higher education
  • Protects immigrants from employment abuse by enforcing immigration and labor laws and eliminating exploitation of immigrant workers
  • Prioritizes immigrant integration into our communities and country
  • Respects the due-process rights of all in the United States
  • Provides local governments with financial and technical assistance to deliver social services, health care, education, language services and civic integration

      Seattle — and the State of Washington — will be stronger when our nation tackles the tough issue of reforming our broken immigration system. I urge you to continue the leadership you have already shown on this issue and to work for introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate this March.
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