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Help for Families Separated at the Border

Local nonprofits provide help for families dealing with immigration issues


June 21, 2018

Note: This July 27 post provides key updates on Seattle Foundation and our philanthropists’ actions and investments to reunite these separated families. 

June 20 was World Refugee Day and we are seeing refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers face many challenges as they look to the United States for refuge. Recent headlines highlight the new practice of separating families at the border, leaving people outraged and frustrated by the treatment of these parents and children. Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security.  

President Trump signed an executive order on June 20 stopping family separations at the border, but there is no immediate plan to unify already impacted families. This executive order will allow families to be detained together, but these families will still face many challenges.

Tapping into our nonprofit network and staff expertise, we are sharing a list of local nonprofit organizations helping families struggling with immigration issues.

In addition to supporting the work of our local nonprofits, you can voice your opinion about these human rights issues. There’s an opportunity to join the #FamiliesBelongTogether march on June 30 organized by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn and hundreds of other organizations. The local march will start at 10 a.m. at the Jackson Federal Building in Downtown Seattle. Organizers are requesting RSVPs; sign up here to attend. 

Recommended Nonprofits

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project works to ensure that all people have the opportunity to access justice and protection, no matter where they were born or how much money they have.  For over 30 years they have provided direct immigration legal services for low-income immigrants, helping people obtain citizenship, asylum, work permits, relief from deportation and other forms of immigration protection. They also challenge and change unjust immigration laws and policies through impact litigation and provide immigration-related advice and information through community education efforts.

Kids in Need of Defense

KIND is a national organization that works for the protection of children who enter the US immigration system alone, working to ensure that all children have representation in immigration court. KIND provides high-quality legal representation and advances the child's best interests, safety and well-being. KIND promotes laws, policies and practices that support children’s protection and uphold their right to due process and fairness. They encourage durable solutions to child migration and ensure that no child is forced to migrate involuntarily.

KIND’s Seattle office, which opened in 2003, is the only organization in Washington state which provides Know Your Rights trainings, immigration legal screenings and representation to unaccompanied children in custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are see needs for additional attorney support to address the increasingly complex legal needs of the detained children served by the Seattle office.

OneAmerica

OneAmerica’s mission is to advance justice and democracy by building the power of immigrant and refugee communities with key allies. OneAmerica focuses on organizing and advocacy in immigrant and refugee communities throughout Washington state. OneAmerica has a strong track record amplifying the voices of immigrant and refugee communities through collective action, leadership training, policy analysis and strategic communications to impact policies, institutions and practices that affect those communities.

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo’s addresses barriers to inclusion, while empowering immigrant communities into action through legal advocacy, community education and leadership development. Colectiva envisions an end to the criminalization and detention of the migrant community, and works to provide the community with the skills, support and tools to fight for their own liberation. Colectiva is a statewide collective, working with immigrant communities across Washington, with a significant base in Seattle.

Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network

The Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network is a grassroots coalition made up of nearly 100 immigrant and refugee rights organizations and individuals in Washington. The Network supports organizations that are protecting and empowering communities, establishes statewide mobilization and resistance to anti-immigrant and anti-refugee activities, and galvanizes communities toward collective action across the state. It works to put an end to the criminalization of immigrants that places families, friends and neighbors in danger of detention and deportation, and supports the growth of strong, resilient communities. 

ACLU of Washington 

ACLU of Washington is one of the largest state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union. It works to ensure that justice, freedom and equality are realities for all people in Washington state, with particular attention to the rights of those who have historically been disenfranchised. Across the country, the ACLU pursues large-scale impact that affects real people's lives, from reproductive, youth and LGBTQ rights; to mass incarceration and racial justice; privacy, surveillance and technology; immigrant rights and more.

Make a contribution to Seattle Foundation’s Resilience Fund

The Resilience Fund is Seattle Foundation’s rapid response fund to support community-based nonprofits seeking flexible funding to respond to both immediate and short-term needs, as well as longer-term efforts that strengthen vulnerable communities and increase their resilience in the face of emerging challenges. These nonprofits are facing increased needs for information, support, legal guidance, organizing and advocacy to address threats and discrimination based on factors including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and country of origin.  Make a donation to the Resilience Fund.

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Children and youthImmigrants and refugeesVulnerable residents

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