(SEATTLE, WA, 1/23/19)   — On Tuesday, January 29, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Washington (CAIR-WA) will partner with the newly formed non-profit organization Washington Immigration Defense Network (WIDEN) to offer immigration law training to lawyers throughout the state.

Washington state is home a large and growing immigrant population and one of the largest immigration detention centers on in the Northwest. There are not enough immigration lawyers specializing in removal defense to meet the demand. Some 90 percent of detainees in Washington do not have legal representation.

In response, WIDEN has launched to help provide representation to detained immigrants. This will be done by matching non-immigration lawyers with immigration lawyers, providing pro bono assistance to the detained immigrant and offering relevant trainings to the legal community. The first training session will focus on removal (deportation) defense law.

“Immigrant communities are constantly under attack in this political climate and we need as many lawyers trained in how to help them as possible,” said WIDEN co-founder and immigration lawyer Tahmina Watson, “Immigration law is specific. Our hope is to bring the broader legal community together through our innovative model to help low-income clients who need representation in immigration court. .”

WHAT:Training for lawyers interested in working in clients involved in the immigration detention/removal. 3 CLE credits approved.

WHEN:Tuesday, January 29, 1-5:30 PM

WHERE:Seattle University, Stuart T. Rolf Community Room

WHO:WIDEN—Washington Immigration Defense Network, immigration law experts and State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson

HOW TO REGISTER:Interested lawyers can register at this link

MEDIA AVAILABILITY:Media is welcome to attend the training and interview WIDEN founders and participating lawyers from CAIR-WA

MEDIA CONTACTCAIR-WA Media & Outreach Director, Sarah Stuteville sstuteville@cair.com, 206-403-3931

“There are not enough lawyers trained in the immigration system to serve the needs of the community and too many Muslim immigrants are forced to go through a complex system without representation” said Amanda Misasi, a Civil Rights attorney with CAIR-WA. “With this training, our legal team and other lawyers will have the tools necessary to represent community members in immigration proceedings.”

Over one in five residents in Seattle speak a language other than English at home. In 2014, approximately 150,000 undocumented immigrants lived in the Seattle metro area. A recent Seattle Times article reported that King County’s immigrant population now tops 500,000.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.