Welcoming Immigrant and Refugee Communities
Executive Constantine Announces Rapid Response Services to Protect immigrants and refugees in King County
Executive Constantine and members of the King County Council have established a rapid response fund to protect immigrants and refugees amid rising concern for communities safety and well-being. The proposed one-time $750,000 funding would also help ensure that immigrants and refugees know their rights if they are approached by a federal agent or are the victim of a hate crime. King County will also ensure that all of its key facilities are prepared to help those at risk and welcoming to all residents. This fund is intended to increase empowerment, advocacy, and democracy in our communities. We expect that through streamlined, transparent and competitive process we will be able to fund community-based partners protecting civil and legal rights of King County Residents through education and advocacy, especially to vulnerable residents and those at risk of deportation.
Why this Fund:
King County proudly upholds the fundamental, self-evident truth announced at our nation's founding: that all are created equal. We embrace the basic American value that we are a nation of opportunity for all. Immigrants and refugees are welcome here, and our region has acted decisively to become more inclusive, removing barriers to affordable housing, transit, health, economic opportunity and strong childhood development. We continue to uphold the same values and move forward with a strategy that sets our region apart as a leader in protecting the rights of all people in our communities.
About this Fund:
This fund is intended to support efforts in the following categories:
Establish a legal defense fund that will both provide pro bono guidance through the naturalization process and fight deportation.
Develop and distribute Know Your Rights material and trainings throughout the county so that immigrants and refugees know what to do if they are approached by federal agents or are victims of a hate crime.
Strengthen information and response hubs operated by nonprofit organizations so that everyone in King County – including those who want to support immigrants and refugees – knows where to go for resources, alerts, and opportunities.
The ordinance will not cost taxpayers any additional money. Several departments did not spend all of the funds they received during the 2015-2016 budget cycle.
More information about this funding will be available and posted in the coming weeks.
A permanent Immigrant and Refugee Commission
The new King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission – which will act as a hub for immigrant and refugee services and align efforts by governments and nonprofits – will be staffed and operational by mid 2017. The County Council approved funding for the permanent commission in the 2017-2018 budget that was proposed by Executive Constantine.
Please click here to read more about the commission.