WHAT WE DO: THE WORK OF WWIRC

Que hacemos: el trabajo de WWIRC 

Building a Welcoming Community

Our most public work champions the vision that immigrants make Walla Walla a stronger, richer, and safer place.

  • Nurturing relationships with law enforcement leaders to promote pro-immigrant, pro-public safety policies.

  • Using the arts to promote empathy and understanding (e.g. the Manibus Photography Exhibit and "Because You Are Here" theater project).

  • Organizing marches, vigils, and other public events to demonstrate solidarity with immigrant community members in times of crisis.

  • Sponsoring the annual Community Immigration Passover Seder.

  • Providing a highly-diverse organizational space where people from across the community work together on pressing concerns.


 

Fighting for Justice and Due Process

In a time of widespread abuses and unlawful practices by immigration enforcement agencies, we provide citizen witnesses, education about legal rights, and frontline assistance to community members navigating the immigration system.

  • Operating a 24/7 immigrant assistance Hotline lauded as a model for the region. Recent Hotline responses include: Helping reunite parents and children from a local Guatemalan family of asylum seekers who had been separated at the border just before Christmas. Helping a local woman who was terrified after being accidentally summoned for jury duty even though she was not eligible to serve.

  • Reaching hundreds of community members with Know Your Immigration Rights trainings in Spanish.

  • Working to reduce panic and disruption by investigating rumors of alleged ICE actions in the community and disseminating reliable information via text network.

  • Accompanying community members to court hearings and ICE check-ins as a way of showing support and monitoring for abuses.

  • Helping community members locate detained family members and understand the immigration system.


 

Targeted Social Services for a Population with Unique Needs

We help connect people to local social service organizations and provide a last resort safety net when their immigration status makes it difficult or frightening to reach out themselves.

  • Fundraising to help people with short-term emergency needs. This has included help with rent, utilities, medical expenses, and legal costs. 

  • Cultivating ties with local social service providers to better serve immigrant communities.

  • Providing assistance with community members wanting to draw up Parental Rights Designation and Power of Attorney forms for use if a family member were detained or deported.

  • Organizing a holiday gift drive for local families in the asylum process.


 

Magnifying Local Impact by Building a Larger Movement

Our participation in state and national immigrant rights organizations expands the reach of our local work by allowing us to advocate for policy change, establish regional partnerships, and access a wider range of resources and assistance for local communities.

  • Our outreach efforts led to the creation of the Tri-Cities Immigration Coalition. Not only is this valuable for the Tri-Cities, it helps us serve people in Walla Walla: TCIC regularly assists with accompaniment when Walla Wallans have court hearings or ICE check-ins in Benton and Franklin Counties. 

  • A WWIRC member serves on the board of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) regional bond fund.

  • Our connection to immigrant rights groups in Seattle, Yakima, and Spokane leverages on-the-ground assistance when Walla Wallans are detained and taken out of town by ICE.

  • We receive legal advice and occasional financial support thanks to ties to regional partners such as WAISN and the ACLU.

  • We participate in larger advocacy campaigns, such as the effort to pass the Keep Washington Working Act, and oppose federal rule changes that threaten access to food stamps by the U.S.-citizen children of immigrants.