Murray Names New Immigrant and Refugee Office Director
Mayor Ed Murray appoints the HRC's Cuc Vu to head the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs; at a press conference, Vu sounds skeptical of municipal ID proposal.
Mayor Ed Murray's appointee to head the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Cuc Vu, has a moving life story and a pretty impressive resumé; indeed, OneAmerica, the immigrant rights group, issued a press release singing her praises just moments after her name was announced.
Most recently, Vu (who's also worked for the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and U.S. Labor Department) was the first chief diversity officer for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBTQ rights, in D.C.
Vu immigrated with her family from Vietnam in 1975, when they "barely made it out of the airport," she said at a press conference this morning. "I lost my father, and lost contact with two of my sisters, who I reunited with many years later." Vu, who grew up in Olympia, said she worked summers in the strawberry fields, collecting strawberries for $3.75 a vat, where "I would look around and see just Asian faces."
Vu and her wife, Gwen Migita, were among the first same-sex couplesto apply for a marriage license when the District legalized same-sex marriage in 2010.Asked about city council member Bruce Harrell's proposal to create a special municipal ID card for people (such as undocumented immigrants and refugees) who have trouble getting state ID, Cuc seemed skeptical.ng state ID, Cuc seemed skeptical.
Asked about city council member Bruce Harrell's proposal to create a special municipal ID card for people (such as undocumented immigrants and refugees) who have trouble getting state ID (a cities-take-the-lead proposal Fizz waxed urbanist about this morning), Cuc seemed skeptical.
"The question is, what’s the purpose for it?" she said. "I understand that Washington state already has ID cards [that can be accessed by immigrants and refugees without papers], so what’s the purpose of the municipal ID?
"Is it only going to be folks who don’t have documentation that are going to be using it? Is it going to be a thing where people assume you’re not from here? We don’t want to create a separate caste of people."
Murray chimed in: "The need for the alternative isn't as great because of the liberal interpretation of our driver license laws in Washington state."
However, as Fizz also noted this morning, conservative state legislatures across the country are trying to change state laws to tie a person's immigration status to their ability to get state ID.
We have a call out to Harrell to get his reaction to Vu's and Murray's comments.