The city of Seattle is allotting $250,000 to address the needs of undocumented immigrant students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools and their families.
The move is part of an executive order Mayor Ed Murray signed Thursday, reaffirming Seattle’s status as a “sanctuary city.”
An “inclusive and equitable city cabinet,” made up of representatives from various city departments, will come up with a plan for how to spend the money, according to a news release from the mayor’s office that did not offer further details on what such needs might be.
The order also directs city employees not to ask residents about their immigration status, unless police officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is committing or has committed a felony. It also directs departments to serve all residents regardless of immigration status.
The order had been expected as Murray had earlier promised that Seattle would remain a sanctuary city with policies to protect undocumented immigrants, despite Donald Trump’s election as president. Trump has vowed to crack down on cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities, pledging to block federal taxpayer dollars from going to them, though it’s not clear Seattle would necessarily be among them.
Mayors of other cities, including New York and Chicago, have joined Murray in limiting the extent to which their city departments will help federal immigration authorities.
Washington’s population of undocumented immigrants grew by 40,000 between 2009 and 2014, making the state just one of six nationwide to see an increase, according to the executive order signed by Murray.
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