Earlier this year, the Yakima City Council added comprehensive immigration reform to its list of Federal Legislative Priorities. The Council placed immigration reform in the highest of its three priority categories – “Actively Pursue.”
Following through on that commitment, the Council recently voted unanimously to send a letter to key members of Congress strongly urging them to be, “…persuasive and resilient advocate(s) for incorporating key elements of either the DREAM Act or the BRIDGE Act into immigration legislation and to steadfastly work to ensure such legislation is expeditiously adopted by Congress.”
“Council felt it was imperative to make its voice heard in Washington, D.C. on this critical issue. The statement by the Council that Dreamers deserve an opportunity to continue to live, learn, and work in the communities in which they grew up in and call home,” said City Manager Cliff Moore. “Council made it clear in the letter that Dreamers are an integral part of the Yakima Valley and that Congress has a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Dreamers through immigration reform. The Council is taking a strong stand for the Yakima community,” said Moore.
Both the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (“DREAM”) Act and the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (“BRIDGE”) Act have been introduced in Congress multiple times but have not, as yet, passed both the Senate and the House in the same session. Both pieces of legislation provide Dreamers with protection from deportation but take slightly different approaches to accomplish that goal.
The letter, signed by every member of the City Council, has been sent to key leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committees and Homeland Security Committees, 4th District U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, Washington State U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Washington State U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and members of the 14th District and 15th District Washington State Legislature delegations.