Community Newsletter for March, 2019
We are excited to share with you some important updates in our continued efforts to defend and advance the rights of immigrants in Washington State and throughout the country.
Two Recent Impact Litigation Updates
Last Tuesday, we filed a class-action lawsuit against USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for violating the rights of vulnerable young immigrants in our state. Our immigration system has a special type of immigration protection called Special Immigrant Juvenile status (SIJS) for immigrants under the age of 21 who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. But USCIS has been carrying out a new policy denying this protection for any young immigrant from 18-21 years of age. This is another egregious example of the Trump administration unlawfully attempting to deny whole categories of immigrants their opportunity to obtain legal status in this country, and one we hope to rectify through this lawsuit. You can read more about the litigation in this article by the Tacoma News Tribune.
And last Thursday, we received great news in another ongoing case. A federal district court has certified two nationwide classes of detained asylum seekers who are challenging the government’s delays in providing asylum interviews and bond hearings. NWIRP and our partners at the American Immigration Council filed this lawsuit in the wake of the family separations that occurred after the Trump administration announced its so-called “zero tolerance” policy aimed at imprisoning and deterring asylum applicants. This court order will help us ensure that asylum seekers who have had their rights violated have a meaningful opportunity to seek justice.
Progress in the State Legislature
Two pieces of legislation that will expand protections and benefits for immigrant community members have taken important steps forward. The Washington State Senate has passed the Keep Washington Working Act, which would prohibit certain forms of cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement. And the state senate has also approved a bill that will expand state benefits for victims of trafficking and other crimes, as well as asylum seekers. We are grateful to our partners at the Washington Immigrant and Solidarity Network (WAISN), the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), the ACLU of Washington and many others for their tireless advocacy on behalf of these important protections for Washington State residents. We are looking forward to the House of Representatives voting in favor of these bills soon.
Tickets for Our 35th Anniversary Gala Available Now
NWIRP’s 35th Anniversary Gala is taking place on Friday, May 17th and we couldn’t be more excited. We hope to make this year’s celebration the biggest in NWIRP history and we hope you’ll be there to take part in the festivities.
Get your tickets now and join us for an evening of delicious food and drinks, live music, inspirational speakers, and the opportunity to give. We can’t wait to see you on May 17th.
Thank You Gala Sponsors
AILA Washington Chapter
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Gibbs Houston Pauw
International Families Justice Coalition (IFJC)
Law Office of Shara Svendsen
Perkins Coie, LLP
Cowan Miller & Lederman
Garvey Shubert Barer
Latino Northwest Communications
McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren
SEIU Local 925
UFCW Local 21
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
Barron Smith Daugert, PLLC
Carney & Marchi
Chamberlain Sanchez Immigration Law PLLC
Christoffersen Law PS
Danielle E. Rosché and Trevor L. Husseman
Douglas Drachler McKee & Gilbrough LLP
FIS: Foundation for International Services
James and Yumi Doane
Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
King County Bar Association
Latina/o Bar Association of Washington
Mary Hotchkiss & Mary Whisner
OPEIU Local 8
Swedish Medical Center
University of Puget Sound
Washington State Association for Justice