Seattle Judge Rules Justice Department Can’t Limit Legal Assistance to Immigrants


In siding with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the ruling also prevents the department from issuing cease-and-desist letters to similar organizations around the country.
News Story (Washington)

Melissa Hellmann
YES! Magazine
May 18, 2017
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Immigration Process

Organizations mentioned/involved: Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) (Washington State)


DETAILS

On Wednesday, an immigrant rights group scored a victory that could help unrepresented immigrants throughout the country. A Seattle federal judge temporarily blocked a U.S. Department of Justice order prohibiting the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from offering limited legal assistance to immigrants facing deportation. The Wednesday ruling also prevents the department from issuing cease-and-desist letters to organizations that provide similar services around the country.

The department letter issued last month stated that the organization—a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides legal representation, advice, and education on immigration to low-income people—could only provide formal legal representation of immigrants in court. Although NWIRP does provide direct legal services for those who can’t afford an attorney, most of their work includes providing limited legal assistance, like helping people fill out green card and asylum applications or briefing immigrants on their legal rights.