In late March, Seaside tabled a politically volatile debate over immigration. The topic will likely return before the City Council after a Tuesday night workshop indicated a consensus of councilors in support.
“Practically, it’s not a legal action, but it states to the whole community, regardless of your ethnic background, you are considered an essential member of the community and we accept you into our community,” Mayor Jay Barber said after the meeting. “We want to state that affirmatively.”
The resolution reads: “Every Seaside resident should be treated with compassion and respect regardless of national origin or citizenship status. The city resolves that Seaside is an inclusive city that embraces, celebrates and welcomes its immigrant and refugee residents and their contributions to the collective prosperity of all residents.”
Other cities on the North Coast, including Astoria, Cannon Beach and Gearhart, issued similar resolutions this spring.
“I really pride myself on living in a community that is inclusive,” City Councilor Dana Phillips said during discussion. “I think a lot of us have spent a lot of time making people feel comfortable from all walks of life. I’m all for it.”
Inclusivity resolutions allow cities to support and recognize the contributions of immigrants without the national political implications of immigration enforcement. Seaside’s resolution eliminates some of the more contentious aspects of the debate, including a desire for sanctuary city status. Sanctuary cities — like Portland and Seattle — risk losing federal grant money by not cooperating with federal immigration agents.
“There’s no request from the community for that, and no will by the council to move in that direction, but at the same it was our intent to state to that community our doors are open to all people,” Barber said.
The inclusivity resolution will be scheduled at a future council meeting.