KIAC Immigration Legal Services Announcement

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US Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals Recognizes and Accredits Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) to provide Legal Immigration Assistance

Contact: KIAC Immigration Legal Services, Ray Garrido, 360-616-0479

October 27, 2014

Bremerton. WA

On Friday, October 24th the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice, approved the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) to provide legal assistance to immigrants in Kitsap. The program will be known as KIAC Immigration Legal Services.

In 2013 KIAC analyzed the immigration legal needs of people who come to their center and identified the need for low-cost legal services. Several KIAC board members successfully completed the Immigration Law Training sponsored by New York Immigration Coalition and two of them, Anita Smith and Ray Garrido, have been approved as accredited representatives of the BIA, authorized to  give immigration advice, fill out immigration forms, practice immigration law and supervise any non-BIA representatives who are also assisting the office’s immigration program.

KIAC won’t be acting without support. They have partnered with The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) which provides KIAC with a robust menu of immigration law legal support and program management assistance.  KIAC also operates in partnership with a large number of regional advocacy groups and institutions including but not restricted to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Department of Social and Health Services, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department, United Way Kitsap, and several faith-based local organizations.

This new legal assistance program, located in the United Way building in Bremerton, will provide assistance to lawful permanent residents in application for citizenship, citizenship interview and test preparation, citizenship financial assistance, renewal of Green Cards, deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), work Authorization application, immigration attorney reviews, and other immigration help.

Fees – KIAC is as a nonprofit charitable 501(c)(3) organization and charges nominal fees to our clients for the services we provide, and we reduce or waive fees for those who cannot pay. We have no dues to use our services.

Data -A study done by UCLA determined that there are over 3,000 people in Kitsap County who are Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders), and are eligible to become citizens but have not taken that step. Many of them have not become citizens because they can’t afford to or need help preparing for the citizenship interview and test. This program will help overcome that barrier.

Visit our Legal Services page for more information about the program.

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