Vancouver Interim Police Chief Chris Sutter and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt want residents to know that even if they aren’t U.S. citizens, they’re still important members of the community who deserve access to public services and American opportunities.
“We are here to protect all people in Vancouver,” Sutter said. “If you have a problem, I want you to call me. If you have an emergency, I want you to call 911, because we’re here to serve you.”
Sutter’s comments prompted cheers and applause from a crowd of 200 in Esther Short Park on Wednesday evening during an immigration-rights rally. The event kicked off with a march to the park that began outside the Vancouver office of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas.
The march, organized by the group One America, was one of several taking place in cities across Washington, including Seattle, Spokane, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima. One America is hoping to create momentum around a bipartisan immigration reform bill introduced recently in the U.S. Senate.
The bill would tighten up the border between the U.S. and Mexico and create a pathway to citizenship for people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally. The bill isn’t perfect, One America says, but it’s a good start.