The purpose of the Immigration Advisory Board is to review and evaluate existing policies and make specific recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding City policy related to immigration matters. This evaluation will include analysis of City data to determine compliance with Washington State law. The board will make recommendations for further data to be compiled in order to facilitate its recommendations. In addition, the board shall support community involvement in and discussion of regional issues and decisions about our City’s future as it relates to immigration.
The board will consist of no more than 12 members. Individuals complete an application process to seek appointment to the board, and members will be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council to serve two-year terms. In order to provide for staggered terms, the Mayor will initially assign a one-year term for four members, and the remaining members will be assigned a two-year term. Members may serve for no more than two full two-year terms.
Membership will include at least one representative from each of the following sectors of the community:
- directly impacted individual/liaison,
- human rights advocacy,
- immigration law/civil rights legal,
- labor – service industry,
- labor – agricultural industry, and
- business/economic development.
The board meets once a month, and interpretation and translation services are provided by the City of Bellingham. Meetings will be open to the public, and the board will be supported by Mayor-designated staff and City Council-designated staff as needed.
For more information
To read the ordinance establishing the creation of the Immigration Advisory Board, view Ordinance 2019-11-033.
More information about the City’s boards and commissions can be found on the City of Bellingham boards and commissions webpage. Anyone interested in serving on the Immigration Advisory Board may pick up an application from the centralized reception at City Hall, 210 Lottie Street, or print one off the City’s website.
Use the following link for agendas and meeting materials. (Click on the agenda for instructions on how to participate).
All meetings are currently online only through Zoom.
City of Bellingham Resources
City Ordinances, Resolutions, and Policies
- Ordinance 2019-11-033: An Ordinance Establishing an Immigration Advisory Board
- Video, October 21, 2019: An Ordinance Establishing an Immigration Advisory Board
- Video, February 25, 2019: Review of Ordinance 2017-02-008 on City Policy on Immigration Enforcement and Equal Protection
- Ordinance 2017-02-008: City Policy on Immigrant Enforcement, Equal Protection, and Equal Provision of City Services
- Press Release: New Bellingham ordinance keeps City focused on local needs
- Bellingham Municipal Code 2.25: Equal Protection and Provision of Services
- Resolution 2019-13: Honoring the Sikh Community of Bellingham
- Resolution 2017-34: Affirming Bellingham City Council Support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Immigrant Program
- Resolution 2017-10: Affirming the Safety of All People Residing in Bellingham
Policy Discussions and Statements
- Video, August 26, 2019: Background on SB 5497, Keep Washington Working Act; Discussion of City Complaint Policy and Process
- Video, August 19, 2019: Citywide Policies Related to City Services; Presentation, Join Hands Against Hate; Discussion of Work Group on Immigration
- Video, July 15, 2019: Discussion of Work Plan Items Related to Immigration
- January 30, 2017: Statement on executive orders on immigration
Policies of the Bellingham Police Department
- Bellingham Police Department: Policy 417, Immigration Violations
- Bellingham Police Department: Policy 401, Bias-Based Policing
- Bellingham Police Department: Policy 320, Suspected Hate Crimes
- Center for Inclusion and Belonging
- Cities for Action
- Cities for Citizenship
- National Partnership for New Americans
- New American Economy
- VERA Institute SAFE Initiative
- Welcoming America
Frequently Asked Questions
A new FAQ page has been added to provide responses to questions posed by the public during meetings of the Immigration Advisory Board.
Immigration Advisory Board
City Council Office
Bellingham City Hall
210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (360) 778-8200