The Immigrant and Refugee Commission was created as a result of Seattle's Immigrant and Refugee Report and Action Plan released in 2007.  With the unprecedented growth in the foreign-born population since the 1980s, Seattle has become an increasingly multi-cultural city, rich with diversity. In keeping with the Race and Social Justice Initiative, the Mayor and City Council want to ensure that city government provides high-quality customer service to all, including immigrants and refugees living and working in Seattle. The Immigrant and Refugee Commission will help the city reach its goals.


Duties of the Commission

  • Advising the Mayor, City Council and city departments and offices on ways to enhance and improve access to city services and resources for immigrants and refugees, as well as strengthening opportunities for immigrants and refugees to participate in the civic life of the city;
  • Advising all city departments and offices in matters affecting immigrants and refugees, as appropriate; and
  • Encouraging understanding between and among the various immigrant and refugee communities and the larger Seattle community.


Commission Membership and Terms

Reflecting the diversity of Seattle's immigrant and refugee communities, the commission has 15 members (eight appointed by the Mayor and seven appointed by the City Council). Commission members will be appointed to one- or two-year terms, with the option of reappointment.


A Brief History of the Commission


Resolution 30796 establishes the "community advisory task force to advise the City on issues facing Seattle's growing immigrant and refugee population."

Ordinance 122441 officially establishes the "City Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board" based on the action plan authored by the community advisory task force.

Ordinance 123822 renames the advisory board as the "Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission."


Learn More About the Commission

Find out who is currently serving on the commission.

Read the Immigrant and Refugee Report and Action Plan that called for the establishment of an Immigrant and Refugee Commission.

Read the Immigrant and Refugee Commission 2014 Annual Report.