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Vote! Vote! Vote! And Fall Updates from OIRA!

Photo courtesy of King County Elections.

Cuc Vu, Director, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

I hope that the one thing you remember from this blog post is that if you are an eligible voter in King County, you have until 8 PM today to return your ballot to a drop box. Please VOTE! See below for a rundown of OIRA updates.


Seattle United for Immigrants and Refugees

As you have probably seen and perhaps unfortunately experienced, the rhetoric regarding immigrants and refugees from “the other Washington” have marginalized our communities and are continuing to create an environment of fear. Many of our friends and neighbors worry about their futures. Here in Seattle, we are saying loud and clear that we continue to stand with our immigrant and refugee communities.

On Inauguration Day, we demonstrated our support by hosting a large event where we provided legal services and information to immigrants uncertain about their future. We served over 1,000 people who needed citizenship assistance and immigration legal advice. Over 750 of you volunteered and made this happen.

And we’re doing it again…because Seattle continues to be united for immigrants and refugees!

On February 3, 2018, we will be assisting more than 1,000 immigrants and refugees with their citizenship applications and providing free legal consultations. Becoming a citizen is the best protection against deportation, and for those who need legal advice, we will have attorneys available to provide consultations.

Stay tuned for more details on how you can become involved. You can start by downloading this flyer and helping us with outreach.

Photo by Alabastro Photography.


Language Access Executive Order Passes!

On October 2, 2017, Mayor Tim Burgess signed Executive Order 2017-10 pertaining to language access.

The City of Seattle’s vision is that all immigrant and refugee residents are able to access the information and services they need and that departments are able to effectively serve them.

Through our Language Access program, OIRA will collaborate with City departments to ensure that immigrants and refugees, regardless of their proficiency in English, will have meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities.

More about our Language Access program here.

Photo by Alabastro Photography.


Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network

The Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network (LDN) is now available to provide legal aid and information to vulnerable immigrants and refugees.

To qualify for FREE Legal Defense Network assistance, one must:

  1. Be an immigrant in detention, facing deportation, or in danger of losing their immigration status;
  2. Live or work in the City of Seattle or live in King County; AND
  3. Have a household income below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The LDN consists of three nonprofit organizations acting as community navigators that can provide general information and eligibility screenings for immigrants. In addition, three nonprofit organizations in the network provide the direct legal services for qualifying applicants.

The LDN is made possible through the Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants and Refugees passed by both the City of Seattle and King County in April 2017 authorizing a total $1.5 million.

More information about the Legal Defense Network at:

Photo by Alabastro Photography.


Last Citizenship Clinic of This Year: Dec. 2, 2017

Our last Citizenship Clinic of 2017 will take place on Saturday, December 2 at 10 AM at the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S 98108). If you or someone you know needs assistance with applying for U.S. citizenship, please inform them of this opportunity to receive free help with filling out their naturalization application. More about this Citizenship Clinic here.


We have a huge need for volunteer attorneys for this Citizenship Clinic. If you are an attorney able to volunteer, please click here to register. (Please note, this volunteer registration process is different than the OIRA Cervis process. If you already registered through Cervis, please re-register through OneAmerica at the link above. Thank you!)


DACA: Next Steps

You might remember, in my last email, we joined other community-based organizations in recommending that DACA recipients renew by October 5, 2017 if their work permit expired between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

If you or others you know were ineligible to renew their DACA work permit by the October 5th deadline, you may still have other options for immigration relief. We recommend you seek the services of an immigration attorney.

If you live in King County or work in Seattle, you may qualify for Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network services. (See the right for details.)

You can also search for an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) attorney here.

National youth-led advocacy group United We Dream has the latest federal updates related to DACA recipients:

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has this DACA Frequently Asked Questions page.

Thanks for reading. One more time…please vote today!