Brooklyn Park City Council member Susan Pha will put forth a resolution
declaring support for refugees and immigrants at Monday's city council meeting. Pha says the resolution is in response to calls she received from recent immigrants who say they feel they are unsafe.
Brooklyn Park has a diverse population with 20 percent of its
residents born outside of the United States. Pha says she's received fielded calls from residents after President Donald Trump authorized an immigration order that temporarily banned people from
seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States. And
although the ban was put on hold by the courts, Pha says some residents
are still afraid.
"I've met with families who live here, who are living in fear because
they are afraid they will be discriminated against," Pha said. "They're afraid they
may be targeted for some of the hate rhetoric that is happening in our
Born in Laos, Pha lived in a refugee
camp at a young age in Thailand with her mother and siblings after her father was killed in the Vietnam War serving alongside American soldiers. Pha says at times she's experienced bigotry and fear. As an elected official, she feels it's her obligation to stand up to discrimination.
"We don't tolerate discrimination, bias or any kind of hate violence, against people because of a certain group they belong to or because they're refugees, or immigrants or Muslims, or whatever, religion or race they come from," she said. "I want to make sure people know that we don't tolerate that."
Pha says the resolution is not just about moral support. She also wants the city to look at its policies to see if things need to be changed to better serve the community as a whole.
Sonya Goins, firstname.lastname@example.org