Tukwila Mayor Declares State of Emergency as Local Church Grapples With Surge in Asylum Seekers


TUKWILA, Wash. — The Mayor of Tukwila declared state of emergency Friday to address the growing number of migrants living at a local church.

The pastor at Riverton Park United Methodist Church said their resources are being stretched thin after the increase in people asking for help.

The City of Tukwila said the number of migrants at the church has increased from 50 to nearly 200 people the past 10 months.

The people showing up are seeking shelter, food, clothing, and social services, but resources have become limited.

The church has created shelter both inside and outside for the migrants that have been coming from Venezuela and Angola. All of them are legally seeking asylum in this country.

Tukwila’s Mayor Allan Ekberg declared a state of emergency after church officials shared how challenging it’s been meeting the needs of people, including children and infants, looking for asylum.

“Addressing the needs of asylum seekers is bigger than one city and requires leadership and support from King County, the State of Washington, and the Federal Government,” said Mayor Ekberg in a statement.

The State of Emergency declaration will allow the city to seek funding for resources to support these migrants and the church.

The wait time for asylum currently averages upwards of four years from the date of their application until their asylum case is heard by a federal immigration judge, city officials said.

KOMO News reached out to Governor Jay Inslee’s office, a spokesperson said they’ve been in touch with local leaders about this situation to see what resources will be needed.

There is no set timeline for when the city could receive the funds or resources for the church.

Source : KOMO News