Immigrant Justice Project

CAIR-WA’s Immigrant Justice Project was created in response to pervasive exclusive immigration policies that target Muslims

Our vision is a state where immigration is equally and equitably accessible for all people, regardless of their ethnic and/or religious identities. At CAIR-WA we believe that high-quality, language accessible, and culturally competent immigration legal services should be available to individuals of any income level. All people deserve the chance to seek safety, opportunity, and connection to family.

Our mission is to provide immigration services specifically for Muslims in Washington state who face barriers to immigration due to their ethnic and/or religious identities and to advocate for equitable immigration policies in our local, state, and national governments.

Who we serve now:

Through August 2023, CAIR-WA’s services are limited to people who fit the following criteria.

  • From Afghanistan (We are warmly welcoming all Afghan clients from any religious background or belief, or lack of religion or belief, and from any ethnicity or language group, any marriage status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.)
  • Entered Washington state after July 31, 2021
  • Live in Washington state
  • Mostly we are accepting referrals from resettlement agencies and other partners (see list below) but look forward to receiving service requests directly from community members via an online intake form in the future.

Know your rights as an immigrant in Washington state:

  • Learn about your basic rights on our website, which is available in English, Dari (listed as “Persian”), and Pashto.
  • In Washington state, immigration status is a protected class. Read more about what that means here.
  • More Know Your Rights materials from our partners at NWIRP here.

Learn more

Fighting discrimination against Muslims in immigration is an ongoing battle. Muslims have historically been subject to exclusionary immigration policies, including the following.

Immigration and travel make up over 25% of the calls for help that CAIR-WA receives. Muslims in America are incredibly diverse as far as race, ethnicity, and experience or lack of with migration or immigration. Many Muslims are second, third, or fourth generation immigrants, and likewise many Muslims are converts (reverts) or the descents of converts (reverts).

Here in Washington, we have many Muslims who are refugees, or the descents of refugees, due to Washington’s longstanding openness to refugee resettlement in the state. Many of those refugees have been Muslims from Somalia and Ethiopia, Vietnam and Cambodia, Palestine and China, Iran and Afghanistan, and many more.

“Since 1975, Washington has welcomed nearly 150,000 refugees from 70 different countries,” stated Governor Jay Inslee who pushed back hard against the Muslim Ban that dramatically lower refugee resettlement numbers in the past few years. However, now the numbers are rising again, especially with the new arrived Afghans exceeding 4,000 individuals in Washington alone.

Read more about Refugee and Immigration assistance in Washington here.