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King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission

On Feb 27th, 2018 King County Executive Dow Constantine and members of the County Council signed legislation creating an Immigrant and Refugee Commission, a permanent body committed to integrating, strengthening and valuing immigrant and refugee communities and upholding the county’s commitment as a welcoming community.

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Vision:

Our vision is for King county to be a place where everyone has equitable access to opportunities. To achieve this vision, the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission (KCIRC) plays a significant role in engaging immigrant and refugee communities to establish long-lasting trust-based relationships with County offices and programs.  KCIRC shall strive to leverage existing programs and funding, and advocate for increased dedicated resources necessary for immigrant refugee communities to thrive.

 

 

To read the full Guiding Principles of KCIRC
please click here .

Mission:

KCIRC will focus on understanding and addressing challenges facing immigrants and refugees within the diverse communities that make up King County. The Commission will work as a hub and central connecting place for building direct relationships with and supporting the vision for social justice for immigrant and refugee communities in King County. The Commission will enhance the integration of refugees and immigrants culturally, economically, and civically, in order to strengthen the communities where they live and will support refugees and immigrants to thrive and succeed while maintaining their own identities.

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Slides from Public Charge and COVID-19 Webinar

Please click here for our Facebook page for a video discussing the King County Public Charge and COVID-19 by the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission.

Issues of Importance to the Commission

Public Charge Rule

Immigration officials have long used the “public charge test” to determine whether certain immigrants should be allowed to enter the U.S. and/or become lawful permanent residents.  The test essentially attempts to predict whether these immigrants will likely become dependent on government assistance for their main source of support, and factors in whether a person has used certain benefit programs including long term care and cash assistance. On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published the “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” rule.  If the new Public Charge rule goes into effect, immigration officials will consider a person’s use of additional public programs.

The King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission is aware that the Public Charge rule creates confusion and may discourage people from accessing important benefits that are vital to their health and well-being.  Before deciding to stop or not access government benefits, please consult an immigration attorney.  Legal resources can be found here.

Read the Commission’s full statement,  Click Here 

The Immigrant and Refugee Commission is Recruiting!

We are seeking applications from King County residents to fill three seats on the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission.  Commissioners from across King County work together to identify, elevate and develop shared strategies and solutions; streamline and strengthen efforts; and bring more resources to the most pressing issues affecting immigrant and refugee communities.  It’s important that applicants:

  • Are immersed in one or more immigrant/refugee communities and represent immigrant-led and/or faith-based organizations, when possible
  • Have had personal experiences as immigrants, refugees or asylees
  • Reflect the racial, ethnic, professional, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, age and geographic diversity of King County communities
  • Are well-versed on the issues affecting immigrant and refugee communities locally as well as nationally

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.

Additional information and all required materials are listed below:

CommissionerRecruitFlyer

For more information, please contact:

Hamdi Mohamed
Office of Equity and Social Justice
King County Executive Office
401 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
hamdi.mohamed@kingcounty.gov
206.263.3434