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2 RFPs now available for Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants and Refugees

The Trump Administration’s Executive Orders related to immigration and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) interpretation of those orders have dramatically increased the harsh enforcement of outdated immigration laws.

Under Executive Order 13678, DHS rules provide for an extraordinary expansion of enforcement priorities. These expanded priorities include people who may have been de-prioritized or protected under the last administration because those classes of people did not pose a public safety or national security threat. This means that as DHS ramps up the scope and speed of their enforcement actions across the country and in our region, more immigrants and refugees could find themselves coming into contact with federal enforcement officials or in an immigration detention center without access to legal representation and counsel.

In response, the City of Seattle and Martin Luther King Jr County have released this joint request for proposals (RFPs) to help fund community-based organizations that offer immigrants legal services, guidance, and/or referrals to legal services. The total RFP funding is $1.55 million.

Up to $1.45 million will be awarded to one or more agencies for legal representation and up to $100,000 will be awarded to one or more agencies for community navigation services.

Only qualified local organizations providing these services can apply for the funding. The Legal Defense Fund does not directly allocate money to individuals.

The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and King County Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ) will administer these grants that will be awarded for a term of 15 months, from September 30, 2017 to December 31, 2018.

The RFP submission deadline is July 12, 2017, 5:00 PM.

A complete schedule for these RFPs, the RFP documents, and more information is available at our Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants and Refugees page here.

Please contact Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Finance & Operations Manager Katherine Cortes at or (206) 733-9116 for any questions related to the application process.

Applicants may email questions until July 5, 2017, 5:00 PM.