Immigrant Accompaniment

The Church Council upholds and affirms the rights and dignity of all immigrants and refugees. We decry systems of detention and deportation that tear apart loved ones and devastate our communities. As communities of faith, we offer counter-narratives to policies and rhetoric that dehumanize and criminalize entire groups of people. We recognize that we all have a role to play in alleviating suffering and eradicating fear, as part of a “faith that does justice.”

Our participation in the wider immigrant rights movement is grounded in the values of mutual accompaniment, convivencia (coexistence), hospitality, and solidarity in action.

The Church Council encourages and walks alongside faith communities and congregations in the process to become places of refuge, welcome and hope for all.

Read our article, “What is Accompaniment?” for more.

 

Immigration Appointment Accompaniment

CCGS Accompaniment Hotline: (253) 343-1410
Email: accompaniment@thechurchcouncil.org
CCGS Hotline Days & Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 7 PM

➔ Hotline volunteers speak English and Spanish.
➔ Submit your request with as much lead time as possible, and at least 4 business days prior to your appointment.

Feel free to share the information on how to request accompaniment, in English and Spanish below:

How to Request Accompaniment for Immigration-Related Appointments in Western WA 

Cómo Solicitar Acompañamiento a Citas de Inmigración en el Oeste del Estado de Washington

Types of accompaniment you can request:
➢ USCIS appointments in Tukwila- biometrics (fingerprints) and interviews.
➢ Ankle bracelet monitoring check-in at BI Inc. in Tukwila.
➢ Administrative appointments in King County. Ex: Social Security cards, driver’s licenses & WA state IDs, passports, name changes, food stamps.

➢ State Court (non-immigration court) accompaniment where there is a fear of ICE presence.
➢ NWDC Bond Hearings in Tacoma.
➢ Other types of appointments will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on volunteer & organizational capacity.

The role of an accompaniment volunteer:
❖ Offer a friendly, supportive presence so that the person or family does not have to go to the appointment alone in what are often confusing or hostile environments.
❖ Support the requester as they navigate a complex government process, and when asked, leverage their English skills, citizenship privilege or familiarity with how a process works.
❖ Volunteers cannot provide legal support. If you are seeking legal counsel, we can offer you referrals.
❖ Volunteers have gone through CCGS training and signed confidentiality agreements.

Volunteer Interest: If you’re interested in joining the cohort of accompaniment volunteers with the Church Council, please add your name to the waiting list to find out about future trainings. Volunteers should have weekday and daytime availability, reliable transportation, and be comfortable and calm when interacting with immigration officials. Speaking languages besides English is a plus, especially if you speak Spanish.

 Please note, CCGS is partnering with the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) to offer accompaniment throughout the region.   

 

Below are resources from local and national organizations.

Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network

Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) is a Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee rights organizations and individuals that strive to protect, serve, strengthen and support the capacity and resources to build power and a united voice in Washington. The Church Council of Greater Seattle is an active member of WAISN.

  • Hotline to report active raids & ICE activity: 1-844-RAID-REP (1-844-724-3737)
  • Subscribe to the text alert system by texting JOIN to: (253) 201-2833. Language options in: English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.
Legal Services
Northwest Immigration Rights Project (NWIRP)

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo  

  • Legal Representation at little or no cost to those in immigration and deportation proceedings in Western & Eastern Washington. Call (206) 931-1514 for more information on other programs or to make an appointment.
  • Trainings and workshops to demystify the immigration system and to learn know-your-rights material. Colectiva also does family preparedness for those who may be at risk of deportation.

City of Seattle Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (OIRA) 

  • Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network: Free legal defense assistance for immigrants in detention, facing deportation or in danger of losing immigration status that live or work in Seattle or live in King County AND have a household income below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Know Your Rights (KYR) and Family Preparedness

Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has powerpoints and handouts in many languages on how to interact with law enforcement.

ACLU Know Your Rights videos: Several short videos on what to do if questioned about immigration status by law enforcement, if ICE comes to your home, DACA status, what to do at airports, anti-Muslim discrimination, and more. You can also order KYR cards in various languages.

NWIRP: Advisory to Nonprofits and Social Service Providers regarding Immigration Enforcement including information on requesting a proper warrant.

NWIRP: What to do in Case of a Raid in English and Spanish.

Colectiva Legal- How to Support a Detainee

Family Preparedness: Immigrant Safety Plan for Youth & Children by Legal Counsel for Youth & Children (LCYC) in English, Spanish and Somali.

Community Resources

Sin Fronteras Resource Guide: Church Council and Puentes partnered together to compile this list of services and resources of immigrants in King and Pierce counties in 2015. It is available in English and Spanish.

National Legal and Advocacy Resources
National Immigration Law Center (NILC) 

Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has policy and resource guides for a variety of topics and issues.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)   

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has resources on understanding recent Executive Orders, Legislation in Congress, Enforcement and Due Process, and Humanitarian Protections.

Informed ImmigrantResources include a family preparedness video and a list of immigrant rights organizations across the U.S.

Melanie Cervantes is a Xicanx artist based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who co-created Dignidad Rebelde, a graphic arts collaboration. Image used with permission.

Get Involved!

We look forward to having a conversation with you about how you and your congregation can become involved in our faith community movement for welcome and accompaniment. Contact Our Executive Director, Michael Ramos, at (206) 204-3852.