June 10th 2016 was a special day in Seattle. It was the day the White House came to Seattle! Two key immigration policy staff members from the White House visited Seattle to hold a “White House Regional Convening” at City Hall together with the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. Ms. Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy at White House Domestic Policy Council and Manar Waheed, Deputy Policy Director of Immigration at White House Domestic Policy Council both attended. To have two such leaders attend our locality was a great honor. It was indeed a special privilege for myself to be invited to this exclusive event.
On November 21, 2014, President Obama established the White House Task Force on New Americans—a government-wide effort tasked with better integrating immigrants and refugees into American communities. The City of Seattle’s efforts to help immigrants were noted in a recent White House report discussing the progress of the task force and as such, White House was here to bring the private, financial, and philanthropic sectors together to spark an important dialogue about immigrant integration.
After the convening, a reception was held where some 200 leaders from various organizations around the City of Seattle attended.
All in all, the event was educational, inspirational and informative. Thank you to the White House staff members for visiting Seattle specifically for these issues and to the City of Seattle for taking immigration issues so seriously. And of course, for inviting me!