Some Jackson County legislators have added their voices to the conversation about visas, refugees and immigration.

Legislators on Monday passed a resolution proclaiming the county’s “commitment to being a welcoming community where all of our residents feel welcomed, safe, and able to fully participate in, and contribute to, our County’s economic and social life.” It made note that the county “was first settled by Native Americans and built up by pioneering immigrants moving west in a search for the American Dream …”

Across the country, universities, large corporations and other organizations have expressed concern since the Trump administration sought 10 days ago to block entry into the county by people from seven countries with Muslim majorities. That’s on hold as the courts sort out the issues.

Legislator Crystal Williams, D-Kansas City, noted that several people from the community attended Monday’s meeting to show their support for the resolution, including Stand Up KC and attorneys working with immigrants.

“These are people that came today … just to support us, and we appreciate that,” she said.

The Legislature’s vote was 5-0, with Williams, Dan Tarwater, Scott Burnett, Alfred Jordan, all Kansas City Democrats, and Democrat Tony Miller of Lee’s Summit all voting yes. Three legislators abstained – Republican Greg Grounds of Blue Springs, Democrat Garry Baker of Buckner and Republican Theresa Galvin of Lee’s Summit.

Williams said the resolution was not “intended to play games or gotcha with our colleagues” but that given Jackson County’s history “it seemed important to do this.”

Grounds didn’t take issue with the resolution itself, but said taking a stand on such issues isn’t the county’s role. Grounds said the backers of resolution called its language mild, to which he asked, “Well, why did it come up now?” Baker said the ideas in the resolution are covered elsewhere, such as in state law and the County Charter, and he didn’t see a reason to reiterate that.

Also, the First Presidency of the Community of Christ, based in Independence, has released a statement “in support of our brothers and sisters who have been affected by the temporary U.S. ban on immigration” from the seven countries.

The statement continues, “The words in Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a call us to hear and respond, ‘God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.’”

The First Presidency also noted a resolution, adopted at last year’s World Conference in Independence, in which the church “specifically declares its belief in the love of God for Muslims and Jews, and we denounce all Islamophobia and anti- Semitism …”