Seattle Immigration Advocates Voice Refugee Support

March 17, 2016 6:42 am
by David Jakeman

The instability in the Middle East and North Africa has led thousands of refugees to seek refuge in Europe. In the vacuum left by the Obama administration’s ramp down of U.S. troops in Iraq, the self-proclaimed Islamic State arose and countless families have fled areas in the surrounding region. Fears of being overwhelmed has sparked a resurgence in political power for right-wing xenophobia in Europe—feelings which have also spilled across the Atlantic to the United States.

Despite these developments, many Americans are pushing back. Seattle immigration attorneys, immigrant advocacy groups, and other community leaders have voiced the need for continual support for refugees. Recently, the Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission issued an opinion piece that advocated for continual support for immigrants.

Refugees Have No Choice

The opinion piece lamented the recent turn of opinion against refugees and noted that the United States has let in more refugees than any other country in the world since 1951. They note that refugees often have little choice in their situation. Trapped between ethnic rivalries or great-power geopolitical machinations, the vulnerable on the ground can do little but flee. Advocates argue that there needs to be a continual commitment to support refugees landing in Seattle. Immigration lawyers should play an important role in that process.

The plight of the refugee is generally difficult. Refugees have often endured major hardship and traumatic experiences, making it difficult to start a new life in a new country. Whether they’ve survived violence, war, food deprivation, or torture, they often have difficult experiences to work through. The Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission also warned against closing doors to refugees, especially the rhetoric of prohibiting Muslims from entering the United States.

Economic Growth in King County

The opinion piece also points out the vibrant role immigrants play in local businesses in the Seattle area. Immigration attorneys who like to eat out know very well about the tasty and yummy options they provide. The entrepreneurial spirit of many immigrants has also lead to many more employment opportunities for the wider Seattle community.

Seattle itself has many local support programs to help immigrants transitioning. There are a number of programs that help empower immigrants and refugees. There is a Seattle World School that helps youth learn the language and academic skills necessary to transition successfully. There are also job training programs that help adults seeking to find work. The opinion piece concludes that the rest of the United States would do well to follow Seattle’s example. Seattle immigration attorneys have seen firsthand the kind work that so many provide for refugees and immigrants coming to the United States. There really is a lot that can be learned from what goes on in this city.

Tags: , ,