Plan for 2017

We don’t know what is going to happen, or how, or when, and that very uncertainty is the space of hope. In the spaciousness of uncertainty is the space to act.

Rebecca Solnit

Taking this to heart we have developed a 10 point response to the president-elect’s 10 point immigration plan.

  1. Trump’s 10 point immigration plan images
    1. Build the wall
    2. End “catch and release.”
    3. Create a deportation task force and focus on criminals in the country illegally
    4. Defund sanctuary cities
    5. Cancel President Obama’s executive actions
    6. Extreme vetting. Block immigration from some nations
    7. Force other countries to take back those whom the U.S. wants to deport
    8. Get biometric visa tracking system fully in place
    9. Strengthen E-Verify, block jobs for the undocumented
    10. Limit legal immigration, lower it to “historic norms,” and set new caps

KIAC Immigration Legal Services’ 10 point immigration plan michelle_the_riveter_yes_we_can_png_poster-rf3a17a49e0914d3992f071aa16c4df43_wvk_8byvr_630

  1. Increase outreach to enable all eligible immigrants to attain legal status
  2. Educate vulnerable populations about their rights and resources
  3. Help vulnerable people develop readiness plans
  4. Increase resources to defend immigrants, especially minors, in immigration court
  5. Maintain or increase accredited representative resources to continue our high rate of affirmative applications
  6. Encourage city and county law enforcement to limit their cooperation with ICE
  7. Develop and propose Welcoming Community ordinances to Kitsap city and county governments
  8. Help immigrant business owners register their businesses, file/pay taxes, and improve their business skills
  9. Participate in encouraging immigrant friendly state legislation
  10. Work with other agencies to develop an alert network

We will use hope and action to protect our sisters and brothers.

Immigrant Kids Need Your Help

As you know, our president-elect has made some strong statements about his plans for immigrants. With your support, we have made great strides toward helping our immigrant sisters and brothers get on the path to citizenship, become citizens, or gain some measure of protected status. Your support also has helped us serve young Dreamers to get working papers and protect them from being torn from their families. You have helped us represent children and adults who have fled terror and violence in their countries to become settled here and to begin the process of becoming citizens.

We are deeply disturbed by the rhetoric of the campaign and want to be prepared to defend our sisters and brothers who may be put in peril by the next administration. Without specific information we cannot tell what may be coming, so this is a time of waiting and listening. But it is also a time for us to do things we know are needed regardless of immigration policy changes. We are asking for your assistance to help us take these steps to meet the coming challenges.

As our program has matured, we have taken on more complex cases. Many of these involve children or families with children who are fleeing terror and violence in their home countries. These people flee for their lives, enduring hardship and danger as they make their way to safety in the US. When they get here, most of them turn themselves in or are caught by Customs and Border Protection and put in detention centers.

Once processed, they are released to await their time in immigration court. Unaccompanied children are released to someone who is willing to take responsibility for them. All of them are placed in removal proceedings, the first step in deportation to the homeland they fled. Immigrants in removal proceedings do not automatically get attorneys. They must find attorneys to represent them or represent themselves in immigration court, even the children. Many of them have valid asylum claims, but without legal representation the probability of them successfully representing themselves in front of an immigration judge and against a government attorney is very low.

Deportation without Representation
Deportation without Representation

Presently our partially Accredited Representatives can practice certain aspects of immigration law, but we cannot represent people in immigration court or before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). There is a path for our Accredited Representatives to become fully accredited and thus able to practice in immigration court and before the BIA. We want to take that path.

Our goal is to have two of our current partially Accredited Representatives become fully accredited. As you may know, our legal staff is 85% volunteer. This year alone, they have donated 2,950 hours to the legal program. But training to become fully accredited is not free. We anticipate the cost to train and equip them for this to be $7,500. This would cover specialized classes taught by the National Institute of Trial Advocates and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, travel to the classes, and legal resource texts needed to support our court advocacy work.

We are asking your help in providing the funds to obtain this accreditation. As a result, more deserving immigrants – especially children – would have representation for their needs and possibly to save their lives. We believe the immigrants in Kitsap deserve this resource.

Be assured that we will continue our work to keep families together and to stand for the aspiring Americans whom we serve.



Immigrant, Health, and Civil Rights Advocates Demand Access to Affordable Health Care for DACAmented Youth

More than 360 labor, civil rights, and health groups ask President Obama to revoke policy denying DACA recipients access to Affordable Care Act programs, Medicaid and CHIP

WASHINGTON — Following a Supreme Court deadlock on immigration initiatives designed to provide deportation relief to millions, groups ranging from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the NAACP on Monday urged President Obama to restore access to affordable health insurance programs to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. DACA is an immigration initiative announced in 2012 that allows certain immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to apply for deportation relief and work authorization.

The National Immigration Law Center, along with more than 360 organizations from across the country, sent the president a letter demanding that he revoke unnecessary and harmful regulations enacted by his administration in 2012. The regulations affirmatively deny DACA recipients access to affordable health insurance under Affordable Care Act programs, and also to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in states that have enacted expanded coverage options for children or pregnant women.

“Living in a healthy community means ensuring that all people, regardless of where they were born, can access quality, affordable health care. Immigrant youth with DACA are currently unjustly excluded from being able to purchase health insurance through Affordable Care Act programs, even though they can live and work here,” said NILC Executive Director Marielena Hincapié. “Not only is this unfair and unnecessary, it runs contrary to the Affordable Care Act’s objective of expanding access to health insurance as broadly as possible. President Obama has the power and a moral obligation to change this damaging policy.”

The Obama administration announced regulatory changes on August 28, 2012, that exclude DACA recipients from federal health insurance programs. The policies do not affect any other immigration category and do not affect people granted deferred action apart from the DACA program.

If not for the 2012 regulatory changes, some DACA recipients would have gained access to more options for affordable and comprehensive health insurance. DACA recipients who are under 21 years old or pregnant, and otherwise eligible, would have been able to apply for free or low-cost health insurance through a state’s Medicaid program or CHIP in about half of the states.

“We’ve spent many years working to expand affordable health coverage to all children and families in this country, and we’ve come a long way, but a glaring coverage gap still exists among immigrant youth who live, study, and work here legally,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus. “Not only is providing health coverage to DACAmented youth the right thing to do, it contributes to a better and healthier America. Every young person in this country should have access to health care.”

“It’s only fair and common sense to remove political interference so immigrant women and their families can participate in the health care programs their tax dollars support,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). “We strongly recommend that the administration continue to build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act by removing the ban restricting DACA-eligible youth from accessing the comprehensive, quality, and affordable health care they need. NLIRH will continue to work to advance a more compassionate and inclusive immigration system, including access to a healthy future for all families regardless of who they are or where they come from,” González-Rojas said.

Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, said, “We call on the Obama administration to allow young DREAMers who are DACAmented to realize the benefits of this administration’s other signature achievement—the Affordable Care Act—and grant them access to the same health care options as other lawfully present people.”

In the letter, the groups told President Obama that “[i]t required both dedication and political courage to create the DACA program, as it did to pursue health reform when it had eluded so many of your predecessors. In order for each of these programs to succeed, they must be brought into alignment.”

“We urge you to extend the promise of meaningful and affordable health care to all deferred action recipients, without distinction,” the letter goes on. “Doing so would provide DACA-mented youth with a real opportunity to stay healthy and to succeed in our communities.”

Some states, such as California, continue to provide all young residents, regardless of their immigration status, access to affordable health care through state-funded Medicaid and CHIP.

The full letter is available at


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