Announcement: City offering free legal help to low-income immigrants and refugees facing deportation, detention

The International Examiner October 7, 2017 0

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

The City is now offering free legal aid to low-income immigrants and refugees facing deportation, detention or loss of their legal status. The Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network (LDN) is available to immigrants and refugees in those situations who live and work in Seattle or who live in King County, and who have a household income 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

Immigrants wanting to see if they are eligible for free legal services, should first call one of these community navigators:

Legal services are provided by:

The legal aid is made possible by $1.55 in funding from Seattle and King County. It was put in place as a response to President Trump’s threats to immigrant and refugee communities. While people in civil immigration proceedings aren’t guaranteed a right to legal representation (unlike in criminal proceedings), studies show those with legal defense are ten times more likely to win in court.

Councilmember M. Lorena González and then-Councilmember Tim Burgess (now Mayor) sponsored the legislation to create the legal fund.

“The Legal Defense Network and the recent work of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to help eligible DACA recipients renew their work permits demonstrates that cities like Seattle are at the forefront of defending our vulnerable immigrant neighbors and friends,” said Mayor Tim Burgess in a statement. “If your family or friends could benefit from free legal defense, I encourage you to let them know that these reputable organizations are here to help.”

Councilmember González said in a statement: “Many immigrants, who are already living in fear of the threats posed by President Trump, are oftentimes left to defend themselves against experienced government attorneys. We are safer as a community and when we stand with our immigrant neighbors. With this funding, we affirmed our commitment to guarantee basic but essential due process rights to all, regardless of immigration status. Together we can create incredible change that benefits us all regardless of where we were born.”

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