Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Issues Responsive Grants to Support Immigrants

  Thursday, July 5, 2018 


Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Issues Responsive Grants to Support Immigrants  

GTCF joins community leaders, nonprofits, partners, advocates, and immigrant communities in calling for humane immigration policy that treats individuals and families with dignity and compassion and ensures due process for immigration and deportation proceedings. While the national spotlight is on separations occurring at the border, the impact is also felt locally by immigrants from many countries. Neighbors and families that live, work, and attend schools in Pierce County are suffering 

GTCF will be making three responsive grants to provide immediate resources for legal services and ongoing individual supports for those affected. 

The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) provides legal services for little or no cost to those involved in immigration and deportation proceedings. NWIRP has been contracted by The City of Tacoma through its Deportation Defense Fund. GTCF will make a grant to the Deportation Defense Fund. 

Tacoma Community House empowers immigrants, refugees, and other community members in the South Puget Sound to achieve their personal and professional goals. Colectiva Legal del Pueblo provides legal services and community education to empower people to know their legal rights. GTCF will make grants to each organization. 

Liz Dunbar is Executive Director of Tacoma Community House, “In these challenging times for immigrants and refugees, it is so important that the community stands with them and speaks out. Tacoma Community House has been serving immigrants and refugees for 108 years and we truly appreciate the support of this welcoming community, including the support of Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Let us all continue to stand with those who are seeking freedom and safety and want to contribute to our country. Especially on the Fourth of July, this is a patriotic act”.  

GTCF’s long history of advocating for youth and families, as well as our goals for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, align with causes and organizations that support the rights and needs of immigrants. In addition to the three responsive grants, the information resources below can support community members in learning more about this local and national cause. 


In October 2017, the City of Tacoma established a Deportation Defense Fund, “In response to growing community concerns about Tacoma residents facing deportation, the Tacoma City Council has authorized the creation of a Deportation Defense Fund to assist with their legal defense services. Basing the fund’s establishment on one of several recommendations provided by the Immigrant and Refugee Task Force, the City of Tacoma has made an initial allocation of $50,000 towards this fund.” 

Since that time, more than $6,000 has been donated to the Fund by community members. After a Request for Proposal Process, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project was selected to provide legal services for people living in Tacoma who get detained at the Northwest Detention Center. 

In April 2018, Tim Warden-Hertz, attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, told KOMO news, “What this defense fund, is not about picking and choosing who gets to stay, the law does that to some extent, it just provides people a fair chance to figure if the law does provide them that protection.” KOMO reported the City projects it will cost about $4,000 to fully-defend one detainee. 


5 Ways to Support Immigrant Families Separated at the Border
Tacoma Community House  

Actions which Support Immigrant Rights, for Allies
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project 

Tacoma wants no part of migrant family separations
Tacoma News Tribune Editorial
June 26, 2018 

Leading a Coalition of 18 States, Attorney General Bob Ferguson Files Lawsuit Challenging Trump Family Separation
June 26, 2018 

Immigrant Defense Fund struggles with donations
Tacoma Weekly
June 21, 2018 

Deportation Defense Fund
Tacoma City Council Action Memorandum
September 26, 2017 

City of Tacoma Immigrant Refugee Task Force Presentation
August 7, 2017 

The City of Tacoma and many local and regional nonprofits have services in place to provide help and legal representation for immigrants and refugees. Organizations in GTCF’s nonprofit database that provide services for immigrants and refugees include: Tacoma Community House, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest, Korean Women’s Association, Centro Latino, Associated Ministries, HopeSparks, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Metropolitan Development Council, Tacoma Rainbow Center, YWCA Pierce County, College Success Foundation – Tacoma, Financial Beginnings Washington, Institute for Community Leadership, Tacoma Literacy Council, True Blessing, and Catherine Place. 

GTCF Nonprofit Directory Search: Immigrant 

GTCF Nonprofit Directory Search: Immigration 

Megan Sukys, VP Communications