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As Congress moves forward with immigration reform, we take a look at how this issue connects to culture, business and families in the Northwest.Our region is home to a unique blend of immigrants who work in all parts of our economy — from high-tech to agriculture. This population already has a deeply-rooted history here. And its ranks are expanding rapidly.Proposals for comprehensive immigration reform address border security, employment verification, guest-worker programs and pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US.

Seattle won't stop helping undocumented immigrants, mayor says

Flickr photo/Sound Transit Special Selection (CC BY 2.0) /
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spent part of his Thanksgiving signing an executive order reaffirming policies to protect immigrants. Murray says Seattle will maintain its status as a welcoming city and announced the policy in a video message.

“When city employees offer services, they will not ask for identification based on immigration status. In addition, services will be offered to all people who live in the system. Next, that we will be an inclusive, and equitable city and I will establish a cabinet to ensure that the new Americans are being treated fairly and equitably," he said.

The mayor also saysthe city will set aside $250,000 that will pay for the special needs of undocumented students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools as well as their families. He went on to say it's important that students born in different countries are not scared that people will take them, or their families away.