Detained asylum seekers, many of whom have been separated from their children, have started to be released from the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, after they were transferred there from the SeaTac Federal Detention Center Facility. However, their release does not mean a quick reunification with their children. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) has been supporting asylum-seekers with legal aid throughout their time in detention and the reunification process.
When a person is released from detention, they most likely do not have a place to stay, or anything beyond the clothing on their backs. The Church Council of Greater Seattle is working with NWIRP by providing humanitarian assistance as the asylum seekers are being released from detention. We accompany the asylee in several ways: transportation after being released, purchasing clothing, matching with a short-term hospitality host, and securing plane tickets to support family reunification.
We encourage you to financially support this effort by donating to the Church Council of Greater Seattle’s Asylum Seeker Assistance Fund. If you are interested in offering accompaniment, hospitality, transportation, advocacy, etc., please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: level of Spanish proficiency, support you can offer, congregational affiliation/faith community connection, relevant background including professional and/or volunteering.
These efforts are the results of months of faith communities organizing for justice and human dignity including a vigil at Normandy Park United Church of Christ, a community briefing at Saint Mark’s Episcopal, a faith letter with 1200 signees sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Scott Lloyd, and from concerned community members who have offered support in the last several weeks.
Thank you for the many ways you are showing asylum seekers: No están solos. You are not alone.