Benefit features hero of Travel Ban plus GSJones speaker and MC in evening focused on immigration
Noah Purcell kept
the audience rapt with his stories focused on his role in opposing the Travel Ban. Washington State led the nation in opposing the ban that caused such pain and chaos among travelers from seven countries. All seven countries have majority Muslim populations. He is the Solicitor General of the State of Washington. When the Attorney General decides that the state will take a particular position in a legal matter, it is often Mr. Purcell who represents the state. He told of an almost round-the-clock effort of most of the office to meet short deadlines in the case that resulted in a stay on many of the elements of the ban. He indicated that the state has not yet decided what position to take on what he referred to as Travel Ban 3.0.
The setting was the annual benefit dinner for Kitsap Legal Services attended by lawyers, judges and community members.KLS provides free legal services in areas of civil law to those unable to afford them. Many Kitsap area attorneys provide pro bono services through KLS. The benefit was emceed by KLS board president and partner here at GSJones Law Group, John Groseclose. Several GSJones attorneys also volunteer. KLS is always seeking more volunteer attorneys and donations. Contact KLS at 360-479-6125.
Speakers explore immigration issues of DACA and representation of child immigrants
In addition to Noah Purcell, GSJones immigration attorney Michele Taylor and Meghan Casey of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project spoke. Michele addressed the current situation of DACA recipients with the discontinuation of the program. She emphasized the ways that their plight will affect us all. She said that when recipients’ two-year extensions expire most of the 800,000 employers will fire them. Many have, on the strength of government promises, made financial commitments, such as purchasing cars and homes. Without work permits, they cannot work or pay debts. Many, she noted, work in the public sector as teachers, first responders, and police officers. Others are in the armed services.
Meghan Casey focuses on representing children before immigration judges at the Tacoma office of NWIRP. They have no right to representation and often even young children must argue their case against government lawyers by themselves. She shared information about the Special Immigration Juvenile status, as well as the need for private attorneys to represent children. Attorneys do not need to practice immigration law to participate, she said. NWIRP provides training and support. The status is for immigrant children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected by at least one parent.