Safety in our city trumps immigration status | Mayor's Message
Our city’s shared vision states that the city of Mukilteo is a sustainable, well-run city with safe, strong neighborhoods. We also have committed to supporting our diverse and inclusive community as part of that vision statement.
Recently, the City Council discussed whether to affirm this commitment in a different way.
Our neighboring cities of Everett, Lynnwood and Edmonds each have adopted a resolution affirming that they are safe and welcoming places. Other cities have adopted the “sanctuary city” label as a way to send that message.
Our Council considered both options, and other concepts recently, settling only on the agreement that we should not adopt the sanctuary city label. However, I believe that we can all unite behind a vision of Mukilteo as a safe place for our community, including residents, businesses and visitors.
That is a vision that is also shared by our kids – it’s what the students at Kamiak High School have told me is important to them, and it’s the sentiment I see echoed in the classrooms of our elementary and middle schools. Those schools also reflect Mukilteo’s diversity: one quarter of our residents are not white and one fifth were not born in this country. Our city is home to all Mukilteans, no matter your origin.
In my first year as Mayor, I often shared the sobering statistic that our officers make, on average, more than one arrest per week for domestic violence. It is so important that anyone who feels unsafe knows that they can call for help. Immigration status does not impact the basic need for safety in our city.
There is also case law that makes it clear that it is not the job of our police officers to enforce federal laws, and they follow a longstanding operating procedure to not inquire into a person’s immigration status. Crime victims or witnesses should reach out to our police department for help without fear.
This is an uncertain time in our country, with some Americans excited for change and some fearing that change. Here in Mukilteo, your city government will continue to ensure that your streets, sidewalks and parks are taken care of; your police and fire crews respond to emergencies and your elected officials do their best to work hard and make sound decisions.
We will do all that we can to continue to make Mukilteo a safe, diverse and inclusive community.
Mayor Jennifer Gregerson’s column appears in the Mukilteo Beacon on the second Wednesday of the month. The opinions expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Mukilteo City Council.