Testimony by Rev. Amy Moses-Lagos

King County’s new Immigration Ordinance makes our community a leader in protecting the safety and civil rights of everyone. It promotes public safety, supports equity in our communities, and ensures that the County does not become an extension of the federal immigration system.

 Ordinance 0487 strengthens policies to prevent the use of County resources on federal immigration enforcement, requires ICE to get judicial warrants to access non-public parts of King County’s property, and ensures that immigrants in County custody know their rights when interacting with ICE. This ordinance, authored by Councilmember Larry Gossett, was supported by the ACLU of Washington, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, One America, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Faith Action Network, Sound Alliance, and countless other groups. Some were involved in crafting the ordinance with the County Council, others hosted community meetings and webinars, and some offered testimony.

Amy Moses-Lagos is a lifelong Unitarian. She is both a member of UUC and the minister at Free Unitarian Church in Blaine. Read her testimony shared at the February 26th hearing–

I am Reverend Amy Moses-Lagos. I live in Northeast Seattle, in District 2. I am an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister affiliated with University Unitarian Church.

 Before I entered seminary, I worked for five years as a paralegal in immigration law. In my role I saw firsthand how devastating it was for families when a loved one was deported. I saw the stress and trauma it caused children when they or their parents were in deportation proceedings. My experience in that role compels me to speak out for immigrant rights.

 In 2008 I married my husband Ricardo who is from El Salvador. He is a naturalized US citizen and works at Google as a software engineer. He immigrated to the US when he was 11 years old through a family visa, to escape the violence of El Salvador. Even coming to the US with a visa, it was still an incredibly difficult and painful journey for him. For those who come without documents, the journey is much more dangerous, and these immigrants face further challenges when they reach the United States.

 My Unitarian Universalist faith calls me to love my neighbors and to honor the worth and dignity of every person. My religious beliefs compel me to work for communities where no one lives in fear of being separated from a family member. My religious beliefs compel me to work for communities in which the civil rights of immigrants are affirmed and upheld. For these reasons, I ask the King County Council to vote in support of Ordinance 2017-0487, to ensure public safety, and to ensure that county resources are not spent on the cruel and inhumane deportation agenda of the current administration.