Friday Apr 19, 2019

Jorge Barón

Executive Director NW Immigration Rights Project

“NW Immigrant Rights Project”

Jorge Barón, the Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, addressed a controversial subject in an apolitical way, starting a mature conversation. The NW Immigrant Rights Project started in Washington State in 1984. Today they have four offices – Seattle, Tacoma, Wenatchee and Granger. NWIRP was created to provide help for individuals from Latin America to navigate the immigration process. Besides handling individual situations, they also get involved with systemic advocacy seeking to change unjust policies and practices.

A huge issue today are challenges at the southern border of the US. Where previously the in-migration was heavily Mexican and single men, today the immigrants seeking to enter the country are mainly from 3 countries that are in turmoil – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In addition, there are mainly families and children, some of whom are alone. Jorge pointed out that those three countries rank 1, 2 and 10 for countries with the highest murder rate.

Jorge discussed Maria and her son from Latin America, their separation and the process to find a solution. In addition, Jorge discussed the fact there is a much higher rate of enforcement at businesses with undocumented workers. He also discussed a case related to the DACA program with two sisters, Mari and Adriana, whose case is in play and may be decided by the Supreme Court.

At the end of the meeting there were more questions than time and we are hopeful to get Jorge back late this year or next year. You can find out more about NW Immigrant Rights Project at www.nwirp.org.

Chris Boland opened the meeting at 730 AM. Chuck Kimbrough did the invocation, pledge of allegiance and guest introductions. Larry May than introduced Ryan Wasson, the April Student of the Month from Bellevue Christian. Ryan will be attending WSU next fall, majoring in Communications, and is passionate about being a sports announcer!

We then had a special guest, Zach Hochman, who is working on his Eagle Scout project – to build 2 race cars for Life Enrichment Options – LEO – in Issaquah , an organization that advocates for people with developmental disabilities. These cars will be used by young people with handicaps to give them the excitement of racing. He is seeking financial assistance to help pay for these cars. If interested in donating, Bob Holert has Zach’s address and email bob@houser.com to get it. Make your check out to Life Enrichment Options!

Laura Adams Cosacchi then discussed New Generations while Colleen Turner and Dustin Walling followed about runners/walkers and volunteers for the AI4A Event April 28. Last, Carmela Ramaglia, our beloved BBRC Sergeant of Arms, promoted the fine waiver card program!

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