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Immigrant Rights

The Constitution guarantees basic rights and freedoms to all people in America, not just U.S. citizens. Advocating fair treatment for non-citizens has been an important part of the ACLU’s work since its founding in 1920, when it opposed the summary arrest and deportation of Eastern European immigrants during the Palmer Raids.
Court says government must do more to reunite refugee families
April 10th is Dolores Huerta Day. Dolores Huerta championed the rights of farm workers and women.
Timeline of the Muslim Ban
Ruling hands Trump Administration another defeat: Court allows lawsuit challenging Trump's "extreme vetting" program to proceed as a class-action


Wednesday, May 28, 2014
A terrific article in the New York Times calls out government officials for using detained immigrants as extremely cheap labor at federal detention centers. For performing such essential tasks as preparing meals, scrubbing bathrooms, and buffing hallways, the jailed workers are paid all of 13 cents an hour (i.e., a dollar a day) – far less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour that would be paid to contractors.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Some good news: A recent federal court ruling in Oregon is spurring Washington counties to stop holding immigrants in their jail past the time they are eligible for release. The court found that detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are just that – optional requests – and sheriffs could be liable for violating an individual’s constitutional rights by continuing to hold the person.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The ongoing hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma has been a remarkable protest, with 750 detainees refusing to eat on its first day and immigrant rights activists rallying community support outside the facility. Veteran reporter Nina Shapiro provides an excellent overview of the issues that sparked it in the Seattle Weekly.
Monday, November 4, 2013
The ACLU and other advocates for immigrant rights are challenging the lack of due process for individuals who are subject to mandatory detention while the government brings deportation cases against them for past crimes. These people are often longtime legal residents, rehabilitated and leading productive lives in their communities. It is unlawful and unjust for the government to keep them locked up with no opportunity to prove eligibility for release or bond.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
According to a new note to a Rule of Professional Conduct approved by the Washington Supreme Court recently, attorneys cannot use a person’s immigration status to intimidate, coerce or obstruct that person for reasons unrelated to a civil case.
Friday, May 17, 2013
On an unusually warm and sunny May 1st, I gathered with ACLU of Washington coworkers and supporters at Judkins Park in Seattle’s Central District, joining with thousands of others to participate in the annual May Day march.  The march began here in Washington 13 years ago as a day of advocacy for worker and immigration rights, and it continues to provide a safe and supportive forum for individuals to tell their stories and publicly express their support.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A study released by the University of Washington today offers detailed analysis of the impacts of King County Jail’s collaboration in the immigration enforcement policies and practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Is respect for immigrants’ rights patriotic?  Yes, indeed, and now this has been recognized by no less an authority than the Washington Supreme Court.  In its recent unanimous ruling in the case In re Discipline of McGrath, the Court included this powerful statement:
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Martin Niemoller’s well-known insight (“first they came for the Socialists, I was not one… when they came for me, there was no one left to speak up”) affirms the urgency of speaking out against torture and seeking remedy for torture victims and survivors around the world. To speak out against organized harm requires courageous naming, as observed by writer and rights advocate Marge Piercy, who wrote that “we must name the giant in whose belly we are chained.”  
Friday, June 15, 2012
The due process and equal protection clauses embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every "person," and are not limited to U.S. citizens. But for the youth who are impacted by today’s announcement, their immigration status means that those basic principles of due process and equal protection are increasingly in jeopardy as applied to them.