Accompaniment is the practice of walking with one another side-by-side through challenges, moments of uncertainty, and fear. In this way we seek to provide moments of relief that there is a community here to alleviate the burden of navigating fearsome and unknown systems alone by acting as a support system and serving as a community.
Our Accompaniment network connects community members with resources, community support, and knowledge of the US Immigration and criminal justice systems, and equips volunteers with skills training and basic knowledge of immigration and criminal law.
Together, we aim to bear witness to the injustice and the dehumanization of migrant people by the U.S. immigration and criminal justice systems firsthand, hold these systems accountable, and fight for the dignity, respect, and safety of all migrant people.
Accompaniment centers the voices of community, is built on the foundation of community relationships, and is steered by community need. We strive to be deeply present through listening, learning, walking together, and reflection.
Our participation in the wider immigrant rights movement is grounded in the values of mutual accompaniment, convivencia (coexistence), and solidarity in action.
The Church Council encourages and walks alongside congregations and members of faith communities in the process of offering accompaniment, refuge, and welcome for all.
You can find out more about our State Court Accompaniment program here. The information on this page describes Immigration Appointment Accompaniment.
Immigration Appointment Accompaniment
Immigrant Accompaniment Organizer: Kimberly Dominguez-Barranc
Accompaniment Associate: Cristhian Josue Ordonez Gomez
➔ Hotline volunteers speak English and Spanish. Se habla español.
➔ 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:
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.
➢ Navigating & accessing Covid-19 Relief Resources.
➢ 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.
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 Representation at little or no cost to those in immigration and deportation proceedings in Western & Eastern Washington. Call 800-445-5771 to see if you qualify. For those detained at the NW Detention Center in Tacoma, call (253) 383-0519.
- Resources & Immigration 101 Training Video & Presentation Slides
- 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.
- 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.
Family Preparedness: Immigrant Safety Plan for Youth & Children by Legal Counsel for Youth & Children (LCYC) in English, Spanish and Somali.
National Legal and Advocacy Resources
Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has policy and resource guides for a variety of topics and issues.
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has resources on understanding recent Executive Orders, Legislation in Congress, Enforcement and Due Process, and Humanitarian Protections.
Informed Immigrant: Resources 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.