For Immigrants and Community Members
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
Like the rest of the community, we are concerned about ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We understand that many community members might have questions about how their immigration status might impact their ability to access medical care. We've put together these short English and Spanish language videos to answer these questions.
In addition, our partners as well as state and local government officials have prepared several resources for community members. We are including these resources below and will continue to add to this list as new resources and directives become available:
WAISN Resource Finder - The WAISN Resource Finder is community-driven, collaborative, collective, imperfect, resource that is intended to be used by community organizations that work with the intention to help our immigrant and refugee siblings gain access to the resources necessary in this pandemic.
Answers to Questions about COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits - The Unemployment Law Project's regularly updated list of resources regarding unemployment benefits in Washington State. The ULP also conducts weekly webinars every Monday, which you can RSVP for at the link above.
Health Benefits for People Without Immigration Status - Columbia Legal Services.
You don’t have a Social Security Number. You don’t have health care. You have to take time off work or you are laid off because of the coronavirus. You can’t get unemployment benefits. What benefits can you or your family get? Worried that if you or your family get benefits it will keep you from passing the Public Charge test if you apply for a green card? Here are the facts.
Know Your Rights Resource from the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG). NLG believes that we can build safer communities and respond to COVID-19 without expanding the police or medical surveillance.
Resources for Undocumented Community Members - Our partners at OneAmerica have a great list of resources for undocumented community members on their website, available in English and Spanish.
Community Resources - Another Gulf has complied a list of resources for artists, undocumented folks, health care workers, the disabled community, LGBTQ+ people, and many others.
Resources in Indigenous Languages - Various resources in indigenous languages about COVID-19 for community members.
Washington Healthplanfinder Announces Special Enrollment Period in Response to Growing Coronavirus Outbreak - This special enrollment period (SEP), that runs through April 8, 2020, will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. Read more here.
Dollar for Debt Forgiveness - At Dollar For, our biggest effort is expressed in our Debt Forgiveness program, in which we enforce the hospital’s Charity Care policies. In order for hospitals to keep their nonprofit status, they have to have programs in place that aid families without incomes large enough to cover their medical expenses, called Charity Care. Dollar For has created a tool for families to easily find out if they are eligible for the Charity Care program.
Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund - Wellspring Family Services has created a special project for Seattle Hospitality Fund under their umbrella of regular programming in order to provide direct financial support to hospitality industry workers in the Seattle Metro Area. The special project will help distribute direct support to eligible applicants with: rent, utilities, gift cards for groceries and gas, health insurance or COBRA payments, and medicine.
Big Table - A list of resources for undocumented hospitality workers from Big Table.
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Undocumented Workers - Starting on April 8th, you can apply to receive cash assistance of up to $1,000 from our partners at Scholarship Junkies and the Washington Dream Coalition.
King County Rental Assistance - If you’re a King County resident who has been impacted financially by COVID-19 and are behind on your rent, you may qualify for assistance from the United Way of King County.
Free Protection Order Filings from Legal Atoms - LegalAtoms is a free website that allows you to prepare your complete set of court documents for Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO). LegalAtoms covers the individual county requirements of all 39 counties in Washington state. LegalAtoms does not cover other states.
King County Plate Fund - to complete The Plate Fund relief application for restaurant workers in King County affected by the COVID-19 crisis, you must:
- Live in King County, Washington;
- Have experienced a significant loss in work hours or the loss of your job in a restaurant or food-service establishment due to the COVID-19 crisis;
-Demonstrate that your gross income is less than $62,000 a year, inclusive of tips
King County Housing Justice Project - the Housing Justice Project (HJP) is a homelessness prevention program providing accessible volunteer-based legal services for low-income tenants facing eviction in King County. If English is not your first language, and you would like assistance from an interpreter, please state the language you speak.
Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
PHONE: (253) 234-4204
COVID-19 and Public Charge
COVID-19 Assistance and Public Charge FAQ for Immigrants from the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
NWIRP is deeply disappointed by the January 27th Supreme Court decision to allow the Trump Administration to implement its "public charge" rule while the legal cases against the rule continue in the federal courts. This rule places unfair barriers in the way of immigrant community members seeking to become lawful permanent residents or obtain certain other immigration statuses.
We appreciate that many community members will be concerned about what this ruling means for themselves and their families. We remind community members that our advice is for community members not to make decisions to drop or forgo public assistance or support because of this news until they have consulted with an immigration attorney about their individual situations. We've recorded the following videos discussing this update in English and Spanish.
On February 24th, we partnered with the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to provide an overview of the immigration process and information about Public Charge for service providers. We've included links to the video and accompanying slideshow below.
Our partners at Protecting Immigrant Families have put together many important resources on public charge and we recommend you visit their site to learn more.
Community Advisories and FAQ Factsheets
Advisory regarding Social Security Administration's "No Match" Notices - The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that, starting in spring 2019, it will resume a practice discontinued in 2012 of sending “no match” notices to employers when the social security numbers they submitted as part of payroll records do not match SSA’s records. This policy has the potential to negatively impact immigrant and refugee workers as some employers may decide to fire workers after receiving such a notice, even though the notices explicitly tell them not to do so.
Asesoramiento sobre los avisos de "No coincidencia" de la Administración del Seguro Social - : La Administración del Seguro Social (SSA) ha anunciado que, a partir de la primavera del 2019, va reanudar una práctica descontinuada en el 2012 de enviar avisos de “no coincidencia” (“no match” letters) a los empleadores cuando los números del seguro social que presentaron como parte de los registros de nómina de sueldos no coinciden con los registros de la SSA. Esta política tiene el potencial para impactar negativamente a los trabajadores inmigrantes y refugiados ya que algunos empleadores pueden decidir despedir a los trabajadores después de recibir dicha notificación, a pesar de que las notificaciones explícitamente les dicen que no lo hagan.
노스 웨스트 이민자 권리 프로젝트-지역사회 자문 사회 보장국의 (불일치) 통보 - 사회보장국은 2019년 봄부터 2012년에 중단되었던 고용인들에게 보내는 “소셜시큐리티 번호 불일치” 통보시행을 다시 시작한다고 발표했다. 고용인에게 보내는 통보는 고용인이 제출한 소셜 씨큐리티 번호가 사회보장국이 가지고 있는 번호와 다를때에 보내지게 된다. 이 정책은 이민자 및 난민 피고용인들에게 부정적인 영향을 줄수 있는데, 왜냐하면, 그 통보는 분명히 그렇게 하지 말라고 하는데도 불구하고, 어떤 고용인들은 그 통보를 받은 후에 피고용인들을 해고하기로 결정하기 때문이다. Thank you to the Korean Community Service Center (KCSC) for translating this community advisory.
For Advocates and Social Service Providers
Quick Reference Guide for Public Benefits Eligibility and Public Charge Impacts for Immigrants
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs created this spreadsheet in collaboration with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and Northwest Health Law Advocates (NOHLA). The information in this guide is intended to act as an accessible general reference for someone to quickly determine if an immigrant of a specific status is eligible for a specific program or public benefit and/or if there is a public charge impact. This guide is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified legal service provider. This guide does not, and is not intended to, constitute as legal advice. Instead, this content is provided for general informational purposes only.
Take Action for Immigrants
Are you interested in learning how you can join the immigrant rights movement? Check out our list of ways you can take action for immigrant rights today.
Help Host a Fundraiser for NWIRP
We are so grateful for this community's willingness to serve as ambassadors for our mission during this critical time for immigrant rights, helping to grow our base of supporters and continue our work of keeping families together, protecting people from violence, and challenging injustice. We've put together the following resource page for those interested in hosting their own fundraiser for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Advisory to Nonprofit Organizations and Social Service Providers Regarding Immigration Enforcement
Read our free resource for non-profit partners, social service providers and others on how they can protect their clients if immigration agents come to their building or otherwise tried to detain their clients.
Immigration 101 Training Video
This free training video covers recent changes to immigration policy and how you can be a better ally for immigrants in our community and was recorded at the Seattle Central Library on September 21st, 2018. It is intended for social service providers who work with the immigrant community, but is a useful tool for anyone interested in learning more about basic immigration issues. We are also including the slides from the event as a downloadable PDF for anyone interested in using them to follow along with the video. Please note that some of the information in the video regarding current developments may not be up to date because the video was recorded in September 2018.
Northwest Health and Human Rights Evaluation Network
The Evaluation Network is comprised of over 100 local medical and mental health professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to conduct independent assessments of individuals who are seeking asylum, providing valuable evidentiary support for the applicants’ immigration cases where appropriate.
Immigrant Child Advocacy Project
We may be able to provide legal representation to an undocumented minor who has been or is currently being abused or neglected by their parents, or who has been abandoned. If you are a caseworker, dependency attorney, school teacher, or someone who is working with a minor who may need legal help obtaining lawful immigration status, please fill out the Immigrant Child Advocacy Project form attached below and fax it to our office at (206) 587-4025.
Domestic Violence Advocates
We may be able to provide legal representation to immigrant survivors of domestic violence or violent crime. If you are a domestic violence advocate and have a client who needs legal assistance with an immigration matter, please call our Survivors of Violence and Other Crimes (VAWA) Unit Intake line at (206) 957-8621 (for our Seattle Office) or (509) 570-0054 (for our Wenatchee Office).
Service providers working with survivors of violence can also help us gather necessary information and/or provide advice to clients by reviewing some of the following materials:
- Documents needed to assist survivors of violence
- Filing an I-360 Self-Petition under the Violence Against Women Act
- Filing an I-751 Waiver
- U-Visa information for survivors of violence
- Post-2016-Election Q&A for Advocates and Attorneys Serving Immigrant Survivors of Gender-based Violence
A Guide for Educators of Immigrant and Refugee Children - Know the tools and resources available to protect immigrant youth and families from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Raid.
Counselors, Psychologists, and Psychotherapists
Vulnerable But Not Broken - The psycho-social challenges and resilience pathways among unaccompanied children from Central America.
Health Care Providers
Know Your Rights and Your Patients Rights - This factsheet from the National Immigration Law Center provides advice to hospitals, medical centers, and advocates on how to prepare for and respond to enforcement actions by immigration officials and interactions with law enforcement that could result in immigration consequences for their patients.
Immigration Policy Center (“Issues” section has information regarding a range of specific issues on immigration policy and information to help dispel myths about immigration)
American Immigration Lawyers Association (Some materials require membership, but many advocacy/information materials are open to public)
National Immigration Law Center (Particularly good information on public benefits and workers’ rights issues)
Washington Law Help (Good resource for general information on a wide range of legal topics, not just immigration)
Northwest Justice Project (NJP provides free civil legal services to low-income people)
Columbia Legal Services (CLS provides free civil legal services to people who are low-income or have special legal needs throughout Washington State)
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (Resources aimed at both advocates and community members on topics ranging from immigration consequences of criminal convictions, U visas, others)
Washington Defender Association, Immigration Project (Information primarily intended for criminal defense attorneys seeking to understand immigration consequences of criminal convictions)
Immigration Law Help (Resource for identifying legal assistance in immigration matters around the country)
Guide to the Northwest Detention Center (Resource created by NWIRP for Detainees and their loved ones)
Eastern Washington Private Attorney List
This list includes attorneys in eastern Washington who represent immigrants and detainees. As private attorneys, these individuals charge a fee for consultations and/or representation. This is not an official referral. The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project does not guarantee nor endorse the quality of representation of any of the listed attorneys.
Workers' Rights and Resources
Our colleagues at the National Employment Law Project and the National Immigration Legal Center have developed a guide for employers on how they can prepare and respond to immigration enforcement actions at their workplaces. This guide might be helpful for you as additional background on the types of immigration enforcement actions that may occur but could also be a resource for you to share with employers you are in contact with.
Fair Work Center - Fair Work Center provides the following support to workers: resources outlining employee rights in various languages; assistance navigating city, state, and federal government agencies; and free legal clinics for workers to seek advice about potential workplace violations.
Free Cell Phone from Lifeline by Solid Ground - This pamphlet put together by Solid Ground in King County contains information about how low-income or DSHS qualified clients residing in Washington State can obtain a free cell phone.
Social Security Disability Benefits for Non-Citizens
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits if You are a Non-Citizen - Even though it’s a
program run by the United States government, Social Security benefits can be available to non-U.S. citizens. Learn how you can qualify with this blog post.
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR; information on immigration courts, Board of Immigration Appeals)