Jan. 30, 2017
RE: Presidential executive orders on immigration
To the people of Bellingham:
We are deeply disturbed by the news that has come out of Washington D.C. in the past week. The new administration is advancing policies that we believe threaten the values of our country, and we cannot stand by while these policies endanger the residents of our city and communities across the nation. The anti-immigrant executive orders issued by the President in the last week are a direct attack on the people of Bellingham. We are a nation built on immigrants. The Mayor comes from grandparents and great-grandparents who immigrated to Bellingham, and one of our fellow City Council members is an immigrant. We depend on newcomers to bring vitality to our community, and this is especially true in a border city like Bellingham
The City of Bellingham will stand up for the people in our community, and we will not waste vital police resources on misguided federal actions. We are keenly aware that the President's policies will lead to attempts to eliminate funds for free and reduced lunches, grants for police equipment, funds for housing and human services, environmental clean-ups and other important services. But we will not be intimidated by the threat of reduced federal funding.
We will do everything lawful in our power to protect our residents and visitors. We know that cities where immigrant communities trust local law enforcement authorities and therefore report crime are safer and more productive. Instead of separating us, the President should be bringing us together. He should help with the real problems facing our communities, like homelessness, affordable housing, drug and alcohol addiction, and threats to the environment.
Bellingham is a great city, and it's a safe place for anyone who wishes to live here. We want to make sure that everyone is safe in Bellingham. We need to support our federally elected officials to do the right thing. We stand united with Democratic and Republican mayors and city council members across the country to protect the people in our cities.
Sincerely, the Mayor of Bellingham and the three members of the Bellingham City Council Workgroup on Immigration,