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With a population of two million residents, King County grows more diverse every year. Since 2000, the county has grown by more than two hundred twenty thousand residents, with most of the increase attributable to people of color. Only half of that growth is from births. Most of the rest is from immigrants and refugees- from all parts of Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa. Foreign-born residents, including immigrants and refugees, face particular challenges upon arrival in the United States.

One quarter of King County residents speak a language other than English at home, and close to half of them report that no one in their households speak English well or at all. In total, King County residents speak over one hundred twenty different languages, or over one hundred seventy languages including dialects spoken.  

In light of this, the King County Council and King County Executive formed the King County Immigrant and Refugee Task Force. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations on the creation of a King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission, including, but not limited to, recommendations on the commission’s membership, mission and scope of duties (see Ordinance 18085).

For questions, please contact Bgheisar@kingcounty.gov.

The final report is now available. 

Download the Report

Members

Meet the Task Force members.

Meeting Agenda & Minutes

October 1, 2015: agenda and meeting materials 
November 19, 2015: 
agenda and meeting materials
February 22, 2016: 
meeting minutes
April 25, 2016: 
agenda

Resource Materials

Ordinance 18085, establishing the Task Force (PDF)
Ordinance 16948, regarding equity and social justice (PDF)
Progress Report, January 2016

A permanent Immigrant and Refugee Commission

The new King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission – which will act as a hub for immigrant and refugee services and align efforts by governments and nonprofits – will be staffed and operational by mid 2017. The County Council approved funding for the permanent commission in the 2017-2018 budget that was proposed by Executive Constantine. A task force of community leaders recommended creating the permanent commission in a July 2016 report.