Immigration Executive Order
President Trump recently issued an executive order that restricts refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries. Almost immediately, there were massive protests by the public. I was humbled to see so many Washingtonians standing shoulder to shoulder during protests at SeaTac Airport and Westlake Park. Condemnation from legal scholars was also immediate. Washington has a strong history of welcoming refugees, including over 130,000 since 1975 and over 12,000 since 2012—we should be proud of that history.
In Washington state and in our district, we enjoy world-renowned businesses that employ a workforce that includes immigrants. They contribute to our state’s economy and our technology, agricultural, educational, and medical sectors, and they enrich our arts and culture. We all share in the desire to protect the country from its enemies, not from well-vetted immigrants and refugees fleeing war-torn and dangerous parts of the world.
I’m proud that Washington was the first state to file suit against these executive orders, and I commend Attorney General Ferguson for his swift action that led to a court order halting the ban. I’ve signed a letter from the House Democratic Caucus that asks President Trump to comply with federal court orders addressing this issue. You can read our letter here. In the upcoming days and weeks I will be monitoring how the situation evolves and working with my colleagues to find other ways that the state legislature can address this issue and make sure we are standing up for our core American values.
The Washington Promise
Standing up for our values as Americans also means standing up for our students and the future of our state. While fully funding K-12 education remains a top focus this session, we need to continue our work to ensure students have affordable post-secondary options after graduation.
The Washington Promise is a good step towards making college more affordable for Washington students and their families.
The bill will initially provide one year of guaranteed tuition at community and technical colleges for lower-income Washington residents, and then gradually expands community college access.
This measure would bring hope to many who find our colleges or technical schools are too costly.
The program would continue to be phased in, including more students until the 2023-24 academic year at which point two years of tuition-free community college would be available to middle- and low-income students regardless of when they completed high school.
As always, please feel free to reach out to my office with comments and questions. I want to hear from you and your families.
Rep. Vandana Slatter