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Seattle United for Immigrant and Refugee Families

Immigrant_Refugee-Sign-263x300The City of Seattle recently hosted an event called Seattle United for Immigrant and Refugee Families, offering free legal services and other information to families who are new to our country. The City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) estimated that more than 1300 people attended.

SDOT and other city agencies were there to offer their services. SDOT’s role at the event was to address any transportation-related questions individuals or families had about getting around Seattle. Several local businesses and organizations were also there to offer services and information, from bank accounts to labor standards.

Bike and public transit routes, parking information, and help navigating the City contribute to a safer, more equitable transportation system for everyone. To connect with English and non-English speakers, SDOT offered this information in a variety of languages. We also provided information on the City’s Youth Orca Program, which offers Orca cards to income-eligible youth who live within a 2-mile radius from their school. SDOT works to ensure that all residents have access to transportation to help them get to work, home, and school. Follow us on Twitter (@seattledot) for the latest information.

According to OIRA, about 380 individuals got help with immigration consultations, 500 people attended “Know Your Rights” training sessions and more than 800 people volunteered their time for immigrant and refugee families at the event.

Mayor Ed Murray released a statement regarding President Trump’s Executive Order limiting immigrants and refugees from specific countries from entering the U.S.: “We are an inclusive, welcoming city for all – including our immigrant, refugee and Muslim friends, family and neighbors. Refugees are already the most strictly vetted group of immigrants entering the U.S. and President Trump is threatening to turn them away at a time when there is the most need. That is not who we are – we will continue to stand up for our values and with all our residents.”