Migrants staying in Central District park cleared out

CENTRAL DISTRICT — Migrants from Venezuela, Angola, and Congo staying in tents in Powell Barnett Park in the Central District were cleared out Thursday morning.

Just a week ago, the park was full of around 80 tents, according to local neighbors. The park group had set up camp to pressure city officials for financial assistance.

“We’re here with an ask. We’re asking the mayor to step up. This is a public, city-owned park. We need to protect the safety of the users, including the asylum-seekers,” said John Barber with the Leschi Community Council.

The migrants have been bouncing around from various short-term rentals to hotels since mid-December.

Most of them were originally staying at a Tukwila church, then a hotel in Kent until funding ran out.

The city posted signs telling everyone to be gone by 8 a.m. on Thursday.

According to city officials, most of the families have checked into the Quality Inn in Kent and others have gone to a hotel in SeaTac.

City officials say they are fully committed to funding hotel stays for 45 families until the end of June.

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