Due to my own time constraints and a desire to get some information out about this as promptly as I can, I am going to provide my notes in installments, on this July 15, 2019 meeting where Bellingham City Council’s Justice Committee discussed work-plan items related to immigration.
During Old/New Business at the July 1, 2019 evening Bellingham City Council Meeting, Council Member Hannah Stone made an announcement regarding the formation of a workgroup, connected to the Council’s Justice Committee, focused on immigration issues.
This election season I encourage residents of Whatcom County to call on 2019 candidates for office to use their visibility and amplified voices during their campaigns to spark critical changes for negatively impacted communities all around us who are experiencing crisis.
Community members continue to show up weekly to call on our local government agencies to engage with members of the immigrant community, of all statuses, to reduce and hopefully put an end to, the daily fear and apprehension that they endure living under the Trump administration, not to mention the profiling and mistreatment numerous individuals experience at the hands of local officials.
March 6, 2019 Victoria Matey and Maru Mora Villalpando
On February 25th, 2019 the City of Bellingham, in Washington State, reviewed the ordinance–#2017-02-008 and BMC Chapter 2.25 regarding immigration matters in the city. Two years ago, undocumented students and community members advised the city not to collaborate with federal immigration officials in order to make Bellingham a safer city for everyone by addressing racial profiling. Instead, the city passed an ordinance that not only dismissed everything the undocumented community was collectively working towards, but also passed an ordinance supposedly to protect the undocumented community with zero enforcement and accountability, and with no promise of keeping our community safe from immigration enforcement families being torn apart.
It’s been two full years since the City of Bellingham abruptly pushed aside the Keep Bellingham Families Working ordinance in favor of approving their own ordinance regarding immigrant protection. In all that time there has been no amending of that ordinance or activation of civilian oversight or of a safe space to report discrimination or persecution.
It is painful to witness the continued sluggish and inadequate response from the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County governments to the critical situation facing some unhoused/unsheltered people in Whatcom County during this current period of very cold weather and the accompanying build-up of snow.