Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to Recognize Regional Leaders

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 22, 2013

Contact: Jorge L. Baron, Executive Director, 206-957-8609,
Michelle Muri, Development Director, 206-957-8635,

Seattle, WA – Northwest Immigrant Rights Project will celebrate 29 years of fighting for justice for immigrants and refugees at an anniversary dinner and fundraiser Friday, April 26, at the Westin Seattle.

A highlight of the event will be the presentation of NWIRP’s two major awards, honoring an individual and a law firm for their work in support of NWIRP’s mission to promote justice for low-income immigrants by pursuing and defending their legal status.

The Golden Door Award will be given to Representative Luis Moscoso in recognition of his commitment to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees in Washington State. Moscoso represents the 1st District, including parts of north King and south Snohomish counties. A first generation Peruvian-American, he was elected in 2010 and is the first person of color to represent the 1st Legislative District.

“Representative Moscoso has been a vocal advocate for issues affecting immigrant and refugee communities,” said Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director of NWIRP. “During the current legislative session, he has been the lead sponsor of two important legislative efforts.  The first, known as the Washington State Trust Act, would set statewide standards on when local jurisdictions could honor immigration detainer requests issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The second is the Washington Voting Rights Act, which would help uphold the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ in our state by allowing challenges to voting systems that disenfranchise voters.”

The Amicus Award will be given to Perkins Coie in recognition of the law firm’s partnership with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to protect the civil rights of Washington residents and to provide critical legal services to undocumented youth and others.

“Over the past several years, Perkins Coie has provided thousands of hours of pro bono representation to immigrants and refugees,” Barón said.  “In 2012, the firm launched a new pro bono effort when it partnered with NWIRP to create a legal clinic focused on serving undocumented youth who qualified under President Obama’s deferred action program. Through these clinics, Perkins attorneys have already helped hundreds of young people and their families.”

More than 300 people including civic, elected, business and civil rights leaders are expected to attend the celebration, one of the largest gatherings of immigrant rights professionals and their supporters in the Pacific Northwest. NWIRP serves all of Washington State from offices in Seattle, Granger, Tacoma and Wenatchee.

Funds raised through the event will go toward NWIRP’s continuing mission and several pressing needs including work on the undocumented youth project, or DREAMers project, authorized by President Obama last year, and efforts to pass significant immigration reform this year.

“These are critical times for us,” said Executive Director Barón. “We are in the midst of advancing some of the most important human rights issues of our era. The funds raised at this event will help us to accelerate our fight for equality and provide essential legal services for those who need them most.”

NWIRP is grateful to event sponsors:

Silver Sponsors — Microsoft and the Washington State Chapter of the American Immigrant
Lawyers Association.

Defender Sponsors –– Davis Wright Tremaine, DLA Piper, Gibbs Houston Pauw, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless and Perkins Coie.

Protector Sponsors — Cowan Miller & Lederman, Law Offices of Marie B. Higuera, Seattle Goodwill, Service Employees International Union Local 1199, Sisters of Providence, Teamsters Local 117, Unified Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 and Williams Kastner.

Supporter Sponsors — Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Amnesty International Puget Sound, Express Credit Union, Latin@ Bar Association of Washington, Pride Foundation, Professional and Technical Employees Local 17, Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, Service Employees International Union Local 775NW, Service Employees International Union Washington State Council, Villacorta & Bailey Law and Wrenn Bender.

Founded in 1984, NWIRP’s roots were in addressing the legal needs of Central American refugees and others who were able to legalize their status under amnesty programs. NWIRP has grown significantly in scope and currently serves low-income immigrants and refugees from more than 100 countries across Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe and Africa.

Members of the press are welcome to attend the event by registering in advance.  There will be seating at a “coffee only” table for those who wish to simply cover the event. Please contact Michelle Muri, Development Director, 206.957.8635,

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s annual anniversary event raising funds for critical programs

Friday, April 26, 2013
Guest Registration, Open Bar:  5:30 pm
Dinner and presentations: 6:30pm – 8:15pm

The Westin Seattle
1900 Fifth Avenue in Downtown Seattle