The King County Council on Tuesday, Sept. 29 passed a motion reaffirming the council’s support of those small businesses that help immigrant communities send money to loved ones overseas.
The motion, sponsored by Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, calls on the Washington State Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Trade Committee and the Washington State House of Representatives Consumer Protection and Business Committee to study the issues these immigrant and refugee-run businesses face and to find a solution that promotes financial inclusion and public safety for immigrant communities throughout the state.
“This motion will encourage the State Legislature to address the issue of bank derisking, which often prevents immigrants and refugees from looking after family members abroad,” said Upthegrove, whose District 5 includes part of Kent, in a news release. “The one thing that unites every human being is the love for family and immigrants who work hard and save money should be able to use their earnings to support their loved ones— even when those loved ones are overseas.”
The motion also reaffirms the council’s support of the East African community in its desires to support loved ones and reaffirms the right of money transfer operators to engage in lawful commerce in a safe manner.
“It is a great day for African immigrant communities in King County,” said Roble Musse, with the Right to be Banked Campaign. “By passing this motion, the King County Council is sending a strong message that it is committed to breaking down the institutional barriers that cause economic inequalities.”