In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, King County Executive Dow Constantine formally declared King County open to initial refugee resettlement, continuing the county’s tradition of welcoming immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
King County is home to the largest immigrant and refugee population in the state.
“It has been proven that when immigrants and refugees are able to access our immigration system and obtain work permits, they stimulate the economy and build businesses without fear,” Constantine wrote in a letter sent last week, according to a news release Monday from the King County Executive’s Office. “Welcoming immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers is not only a fundamental value and character of King County, it is essential to our economic and social development.”
The letter is in response to an executive order by President Donald Trump designed to add more barriers to municipalities accepting refugees coming to the United States, at the same time when the United States has admitted the smallest number of refugees since the 1970s, according to the news release.
The state of Washington and city of Seattle have issued similar letters.