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Seattle council member says city needs to be ‘last line of defense’ for all workers

Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. (Matt Pitman)

While the Trump administration faces backlash over the treatment of thousands of migrant families, a bill to further protect domestic workers in Seattle will serve as the “last line of defense,” Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said Thursday.

RELATED: Washington leads lawsuit against Trump over separation policy

The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would establish labor standards for all domestic workers. That includes a guarantee of making the minimum wage, shift breaks, the creation of the Domestic Workers Standards Board, and more.

“In this time, under this administration at the national level, we know that we have to do everything we can at the local level to be the last line of defense for our most vulnerable workers,” Mosqueda said.

She says the legislation will protect immigrants.

“Many of the individuals who are coming to this country, seeking a better job, seeking employment, seeking protection from poverty and fear — we need to be able to stand up and protect our most vulnerable here.”

Mosqueda’s comments come as the federal government struggles with its own policy on immigration that has led to thousands of children being separated from their families. That includes the House killing a hard-right immigration bill and Republican leaders delaying a planned vote on a compromise package.

“Many of the domestic workers are immigrants, people of color, women,” Mosqueda said. “We here in Seattle have the ability to stand up and fight for the most vulnerable to make sure we do it in an inclusive way that recognizes that when we extend protection to our most vulnerable workers, families benefit.”

Standing at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Texas near the gates of a federal facility for separated migrant children, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and a delegation of mayors called on the Trump administration to reunite families who were separated due to the zero-tolerance policy on immigration.

“How our nation reacts today will define who we are as a country. We stand here as mayors, as fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, mothers, to say we are better than this as a country,” Durkan said.

“We are so much better than this, and the promise of America is better than this.”

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