On February 25, 2021, the Thurston League held a forum on immigration issues, entitled “Immigration 2021: What Happens Next?” The forum was co-sponsored by Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance (SSA), Mason County League of Women Voters, and Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition, South Puget Sound Chapter (APIC-SPS). Over 70 people participated in the forum, which was held virtually. Our speakers addressed topics on the federal, state, and local levels.
Karen Tvedt, LWVTC President, and Kathy Baros-Friedman, from the Spanish Roundtable, moderated the forum. Steffani Powell, an immigration attorney and member of SSA and Jorge Barón, Executive Director of the Northwest Immigration Rights Project, spoke to the myriad of issues at the federal level: what changes might come with the new administration; and what litigation is currently underway.
The state level perspective was presented by Cariño Barragàn Talancón, with the Washington Immigration Solidarity Network. She spoke about her organization and pending state legislation.
From the local level, we heard from speakers representing three organizations. Anne Fischel and Bob Zeigler informed us on SSA and its activities. Ellen Shortt Sanchez of Elevate Mason County gave a presentation on immigration issues in Mason County. Lin Crowley, Co-Chair of the APIC Chapter provided an enlightening educational history of Asian immigration in the United States. She also spoke about APIC’s activities.
After the presentations, the speakers and attendants moved into breakrooms for more dialog on their respective subjects. Breakroom facilitators, who handled questions and reported back to the group, included Joel LeBel from SSA, Ellen Saunders of SSA, Lola Flores from the Washington State Commission of Hispanic Affairs, and Shari Silverman of the Thurston County League. The forum was a great success, and we received a lot of positive feedback. It will be available for review soon on the LWV of Thurston County’s YouTube channel.
CLICK HERE to see a video of this forum.