Council members González and Burgess sponsored the $1 million legal defense fund for immigrants • Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, along with the King County and Seattle City Councils, announced a joint request for proposals (RFP) to provide legal services, guidance and referrals to legal services for immigrants and refugees from a $1.55 million fund. Local organizations providing these services can apply for the funding, which will assist people living in the area in need of representation for issues related to their immigration status. Both the City and the County passed legislation authorizing these funds earlier this year as President Donald Trump threatened immigrant and refugee communities through rhetoric and unconstitutional executive orders.

Two RFPs are being administered by the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ) for:

  1. Community navigation services (i.e. guidance and referral) for legal representation for residents of King County who are in detention, facing deportation, or in danger of losing their status; and
  2. Legal representation for residents of King County who are in detention, facing deportation, or in danger of losing their status.

Seattle is a Welcoming City, while King County is a Welcoming County. It has passed ordinances that prohibit conditioning provision of services on immigration status and that stipulate that the County only honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers if they are accompanied by a criminal warrant issued by a federal judge.

Both RFPs are due by July 12, with funding decisions to be announced in August.

For more information on applications, click here.

For more community announcements, click here

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