NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
OLYMPIA — The Washington Senate voted 29-20 on Feb. 26, passing a bill to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status.
Senate Bill 5165, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, adds citizenship or immigration status to the list of characteristics protected by Washington’s law against discrimination.
The law currently prohibits discrimination against individuals based on race, creed, color, national origin, families with children, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability.
This bill protects anyone perceived to be a noncitizen, regardless of their actual immigration status, and would help prevent discrimination in various settings such as education, housing, public accommodations, and employment.
“We’re hearing from communities that people are not at ease. They live in fear and sometimes are even afraid to bring their kids to school,” said Saldaña. “By clarifying our law against discrimination, we hope people will feel more secure participating fully in their communities.”
The bill will now be considered in the House of Representatives.
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