Mayor Mike McGinn is continuing the King County effort to make Seattle one of the biggest safe-havens in the country for illegal immigrants. On Wednesday, Seattle Mayor McGinn announced his support for young illegal immigrants working towards eligibility for work visas.
"So illegals who have not been able to get their name on the power bill," said Dori, "Mike McGinn is now calling on and ordering Seattle City Light to allow them to add their name to the electric bill so that they can prove residency."
It's all to help young illegal immigrants get work permits as part of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy launched last year. It provides a two-year reprieve from deportation along with the ability to work for unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. while they were younger than age 16. They must also have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012.
"We have an opportunity here to support immigration reform at the local level," said McGinn in a press release. "We hope other cities will follow our lead in supporting youth who are eligible for DACA.
The mayor's office said Washington has more than 40,000 residents eligible for a work authorization under the DACA program.
Earlier this week King County announced a proposed measure to stop cooperating with feds on deporting illegal criminals.
In addition, Dori learned from a listener that the University of Washington has started providing scholarships for children of illegal immigrants, through the Beyond Dreaming Foundation.
The two announcements had Dori worrying that King County would become a magnet area for illegal immigrants. Without the ability to deport those convicted of crimes, he said the measures could pose safety problems for citizens.
And as the mayor promoted the move on Twitter, Dori accused him of pandering to special interests.
"He is pandering," said Dori. "'I'm going to get the grocery union's vote - I'll stand up against Whole Foods; I'll get the NBA fans' vote, I won't demand minimum wage increase for the arena workers,' I guess he's going for the Hispanic vote today."
Tania Santiago, Miss Hispanic Seafair & UW student, on immigration reform: "America is where I'm meant to be." ^rc pic.twitter.com/zl0MevL0Pr— Mayor McGinn (@mayormcginn) July 24, 2013
Last year President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to help prevent deportation for some brought here as children.— Mayor McGinn (@mayormcginn) July 24, 2013
One thing DACA-eligible people need is to prove current residency. @SEACityLight can help by allowing them to be added to utility bill.— Mayor McGinn (@mayormcginn) July 24, 2013
By adding name to a @SEACityLight bill, we can help more people become eligible for DACA, avoid deportation, and stay in our city.— Mayor McGinn (@mayormcginn) July 24, 2013
KIRO Radio news staff contributed to this report.
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