Following the publication of policy recommendations from the Task Force on New Americans earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement:
“We stand with President Obama for a common sense national immigrant integration policy that is supported by a majority of Americans and look forward to working closely with the White House and other federal agencies to develop plans for the implementation of the innovative policies proposed. Our country was built through the hard work of generations of immigrants. In Seattle, we welcome all immigrants in our community who want to work hard, contribute to our city and be part of the fabric of American life.”
On November 21, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration. Washington is the tenth largest state impacted by the President’s DACA/DAPA program. As part of these actions, he created an interagency White House Task Force on New Americans. The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs in the City of Seattle was invited to submit policy recommendations for the report.
Several recommendations from the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, like the City’s inclusive neighborhood revitalization approach to language access and community engagement, are included. Among the City’s comprehensive work to achieve Mayor Murray’s vision of Seattle becoming a leading city on immigrant integration, the City highlighted what it considers the three rails of immigrant integration:
• Providing ESL programs to help unemployed and underemployed immigrants get jobs and gain economic self-sufficiency;
• Increasing citizenship rates; and
• Improving language access policies and protocols to better serve the large numbers of Limited English Proficient residents.