Statement to Public and Media
For immediate release: Monday, March 6, 2017
For nearly fifty years, InterIm CDA has been standing up for social justice issues and rights of immigrants, refugees, and people of color from marginalized communities. In that five-decade history, the last few weeks have delivered some of the most extreme, frightening, and xenophobic blows affecting not just those we serve, but several of us on staff.
With each passing day, our communities are afraid and worried about the hateful rhetoric and violence directed towards Muslims, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ people, women and communities of color. We must come together to respond to this hateful rhetoric and work together to protect our vulnerable communities whose very existence and dreams for a secure life in America have been shaken and threatened.
It is more important now than ever before to continue working together and to build strong empowered communities, and to broaden our collaboration and partnerships to fight against the perpetration of injustice and violence which is engulfing the communities we belong to and serve.
From the residents in our affordable housing buildings, to the families and individuals who come to us in need of safe, stable housing, our survivors of domestic violence, and our youth, we will care for our community of immigrants, refugees, children and grandchildren of immigrants and refugees.
At InterIm CDA, we are committed to building a cohesive movement to fight this hate, by continuing our efforts to reach out to other POC/immigrant/refugee organizations, LGBTQ advocacy groups, and organizations and coalitions against gender-based violence. We will continue to come together in a movement of resistance, and not allow fear to overcome us.
And we will pro-actively reach out to those who serve other ethnic populations to build new bridges and stand together in solidarity against the heinous policies aimed directly against immigrants and refugees – the travel ban, threats of cutting off sanctuary cities, and the inevitable Muslim registry. If they are targeting any one of us alone, they are targeting us all. We stand strong with all immigrants, refugees, and people of color.
On Wednesday, March 1, we held a Know Your Rights Workshop at the 601 S. King Street office, in the WILD office for staff, other organizations, our building managers and partner agencies. Immigration lawyers provided information regarding rights as citizens, legal residents, and people who are in the middle of having their status changed. The attorneys taught us how to respond to any unwanted incident which may occur with our clients or tenants in our buildings, in relation to the current immigration and refugee crisis which has erupted after the Executive Order was signed.
We thank Attorney General Bob Ferguson for his and his staff’s leadership in the country in fighting back against the unconstitutional travel ban and winning in federal court. We thank Governor Inslee for the executive order enacted to provide safety to immigrants and refugees who are at risk due to new federal immigration laws. We thank Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council for declaring Seattle a sanctuary city. To all who are standing up on behalf of at-risk immigrants, refugees, and people of color – and for the dignity of our country – we thank you!
We will not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the challenges that lie ahead of us; we will work hard to honor our commitment to our mission and core values to ensure America is a welcoming, safe and loving county which allows all people to live with respect and dignity irrespective of their religion, color, gender or race.
We will not allow fear to overcome us!