file photo

King County leaders propose funding to support immigrants in the region

$11.3 million proposed for citizenship application support and COVID relief to undocumented families

The King County Council on Tuesday approved a first-in-the-nation program to help immigrants apply for documented status and citizenship, sponsored by Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and began deliberations on an $11.3 million general relief fund to support undocumented King County residents, proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

The combined investment of more than $16 million will help King County immigrants overcome barriers to legal status and assist those who have not been able to access federal benefits associated with COVID-19 relief.

“Our community was the first in the nation to be hit by an outbreak of COVID-19 and King County has done much to support thousands of families with relief funds. However, many of our immigrant residents have been categorically excluded from receiving emergency relief,” Balducci said.

The program includes two components Fee Support and a Relief Program.

The supplemental budget approved by Council Tuesday includes $5 million in to help immigrants apply for legal status, including filing fees with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Immigration application costs vary from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per applicant. When multiple family members apply for relief together, the cost burden can be insurmountable for low-income families.

As part of the county’s eighth COVID budget, Executive Constantine proposes $11.3 million for grants to immigrants to meet basic expenses.

According to the King County press release, immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but many have not been able to access federal relief funds due to their legal status. This program uses county General Fund dollars to start to redress that inequity.

“This region and nation owe a debt of gratitude to all essential workers who put their lives on the line during the pandemic. The fact that so many are undocumented immigrants underscores our responsibility to help those now seeking legal status,” said Constantine.

Applicants must be living, working, going to school or currently detained in ICE facilities but previously living, working or going to school in King County in order to qualify.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)
King County councilmember proposes program to aid transition of Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. overseas

Program would provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors.

Vaccinations taking place. File photo
Inslee: No ‘massive disruptions’ as worker vax rates hit 90%

A surge in vaccinations has eased concern about service slowdowns ahead of a Monday deadline.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Union members picket in front of new Facebook campus in Redmond on Sept. 16 (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Northwest Carpenters Union members vote to accept contract with AGC

The agreement comes after weeks of striking.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
After doubling down on “racist” flyer, Lambert publicly apologizes

Apology encouraged by King County Council colleagues.

Pixabay image
School psychologist among three charged with immoral communication with a minor

Redmond detectives conducted an online predator sting using fake profiles.

Courtesy of King County Police Officers Guild
Office lacks power over King County law enforcement in misconduct investigations

Director Tamer Abouzeid presents OLEO annual report to law and justice committee on Tuesday.

Photos of drug bust and Fury the K9 unit (courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office)
King County Sheriff’s Office confiscates over $1 million worth of deadly fentanyl during drug bust

With help from a search dog, officers found 97,000 fentanyl pills and eight pounds of heroin.

Most Read