Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Programs
NWIRP serves the community through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education.
NWIRP's critical legal services help immigrants navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system so they can apply for asylum or other forms of immigration protection. The legal services we provide include:
- Asylum: We protect human rights by representing individuals who face persecution in their home countries.
- Child Services: We help vulnerable children obtain protection under our immigration laws. We also help young people apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which grants them work permits and protection from deportation.
- Domestic Violence: We assist immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other violent crimes in gaining lawful status in the U.S.
- Family Unity: We promote family unity and stability by assisting with family visa applications.
- Citizenship: We assist immigrants, many of whom are elderly and/or persons with disabilities, obtain U.S. citizenship.
- Legal Orientation: We provide legal orientation sessions to all immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
- Removal Defense: We offer representation in immigration court to those facing deportation.
- Through advocacy and education, we also provide critical immigration-related advice and information to immigrants, other community members, and a large network of service providers and attorneys. We also advocate for policies that will empower the immigrant community. Our impact litigation unit represents immigrants in the federal courts to impact immigration law and policy on a national level.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
"Diego" is one of the many clients we have recently served. Here is his story.
Growing up in a small town of El Salvador, "Diego" experienced economic hardship and gang violence. At the age of 15, Diego came to the U.S. to live with his cousin in a small town in Southwestern Washington to escape the violence of his hometown. A few months later, the police came to Diego's cousin's house, arrested his cousin, and sent Diego to live with a foster family. Diego's cousin was deported back to El Salvador, and Diego was placed in deportation (removal) proceedings.
Even though Diego was just a teenager, according to current law, he did not have the right to an appointed attorney. As he waited for his day in court, Diego did not know what to do. Thankfully, he found out about the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. A NWIRP attorney helped Diego win his case and obtain a green card. Thanks to NWIRP, Diego, who once thought he could never go to school, is now able to focus on his studies and imagine a better life for himself. He is an honor roll student applying to college and is also working at an after school program helping elementary school children.
One of the greatest ongoing challenges NWIRP faces is obtaining adequate resources to meet the great demand for our work. While NWIRP provides direct legal services to over 10,000 people every year, NWIRP also receives more than 1,500 calls for help each week.