The state’s current economic forecast is forcing policy-makers to make difficult decisions about cuts to critical services. With a projected deficit of more than $2 billion, service reduction is inevitable. However, it is imperative for legislators to remember the Priorities of Government during the special session and preserve essential services that improve the health and security of Washington’s vulnerable children and adults, including refugees and immigrants in our community.
Refugees and immigrants have fled oppression, severe hardship, torture and abuse and have sought refuge only to find that all the needed services that help them transition to self-sufficiency are being targeted for drastic cuts and elimination. Many of these cuts will have a disproportionate impact on refugees and immigrants who do not have access to other resources.
This population has been through enough. Let’s not take away their hope to build better lives for themselves and their families.