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Seattle City Council opposes proposed roadblocks for green card applicants

The Seattle City Council has publicly opposed a proposal by the Trump Administration that one council member says is already having a chilling effect on immigrant communities. 

President Donald Trump wants to make it easier to deny green cards to immigrants based on the level of dependence on government services. As the rule stands now, anyone from another country who wants to apply to live permanently in the United States may be denied if they receive cash assistance from the government. The proposed change would extend that threshold to also consider applicants who use services such as food stamps and Medicaid. 

The City Council passed a resolution Monday in opposition to the federal government's proposal. Councilwoman Lorena González said it's important for Seattle to take a stand now.

"Passage of this rule will undoubtedly cause fear and terror amongst our immigrant communities in Seattle," she said. "But the consequences are graver than that."  

The proposal is already affecting immigrants, who are opting out of food and nutrition programs that their families need and qualify for, González added.

The federal Department of Homeland Security has granted a public comment period until Dec. 10.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.