Action Items for Those at a Loss, Part 2

by Kelsey Hamlin

As a new year approaches, people continue to ask what actions they can take to improve the lot of the world. Locally, a sea of community faces come together time and time again, but feel like they’re in some sort of limbo, no matter how much they want to help.

This is all unfortunately a reaction to the U.S. president-elect, Donald Trump, winning office despite running a campaign short on substantive policies and heavy on hateful rhetoric. Specific jobs, movements, identities, and people have already been targeted by his campaign and many fear it will only get worse. But what can people do? What can allies do?

Well, here’s one list of action items to help immigrants — I plan to make separate lists for how best to support Muslims, journalism/journalists, LGBTQIA+, marginalized communities, the Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, environmental concerns, and Flint, Mich. We have already posted an action list for the water protectors. Stay posted.

The Educators for Fair Consideration recommend that those submitting initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications and/or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) shouldn’t because it’s unlikely that applications will be processed before the Trump Administration comes to power on Jan. 20. But if you’re renewing your DACA application — so long as it’s 180 days of expiration — you should do so.


  • Colectiva Legal del Pueblo – legal services for immigrants and their families facing deportation
  • Washington Law Help – breaks down multiple areas of concern for immigrants and their families, including rights, documents, waivers, community information and resources, and safety plans
  • Latino Advocacy – provides consulting, advocacy consulting, and policy development for relevant nonprofits, organizations, and grassroots groups — as well as individuals — in Washington.
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project – hosts DACA workshops, legal orientation presentations, fraud prevention, and immigration 101 training for service providers. They have an events list here


  • Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
    A fund for their legal services with immigrants and their families who are facing deportation, and for their organizing that challenges detention, deportation and exploitive working and living conditions of detained migrants.
  • #Not1More
    “#Not1More weaves together all of our voices in a central location so that local efforts to stop deportations and build community are strengthened and accompanied by cultural creations that illustrate the ugliness of criminalization and the beauty of our communities.”
  • Families for Freedom
    An organizing and advocacy center from New York against deportation, providing support, education, and campaigns.
  • The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
    A nonprofit that legally defends immigrants, and advances immigrant rights with systemic advocacy and community education.
  • Community to Community
    Led by women of color, this Bellingham group actively participates in other movements like food sovereignty (like farm worker’s rights), representation, cross-cultural awareness, and community-building.
  • American Civil Liberties Union
    ACLU is a renowned national organization that fights for human rights in Legislatures and in lawsuits.


  • Read the case for Miranda Bulivaras v Klackimus County, an Oregon case in which the Supreme Court ruled a detainee’s fourth amendment rights were violated for being held without bail or reason.
  • Colectiva Legal del Pueblo has training workshops for:
    • community action against deportation
    • Leadership
    • Rights
    • A 101 on DACA & DAPA
  • You can make an event or outreach request to have members of the Northwest Immigrant Rights to Project come to educate.
  • Community to Community has a list of recommended articles, videos, books, and reports in both English and Spanish.
  • ACLU has a page about immigrant’s rights, current issues, and ways to take action
  • Check out work done by Cecilia Wang from the ACLU
  • Read Policing Immigrants by Doris Mori Provine et al.
  • Read Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected  by Lisa Marie Cacho


  • There are multiple positions you can fill, with varying levels of required skills, at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
  • Community to Community has work study and internship opportunities as well as program assistance, and vigils at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma (among the top five largest detention centers in the U.S.).


  • Urge Washington school districts to support and protect their undocumented students
  • There’s petitions for specific cases, demanding those involved in the case be released by sending a letter about it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 

How to stay updated

  • Get on the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project email list for updates about their organization, general immigration law, and important events.
  • Look for your local university organizations on Facebook and like their pages (for example, Leadership without Borders at the University of Washington)
  • ACLU gives you the option to sign up for breaking news regarding immigrants’ rights at the bottom of this page

kelsey-1Kelsey Hamlin is a reporter with South Seattle Emerald, and interned with the publication this summer. She has worked with various Seattle publications. Currently, Hamlin is a University of Washington student, and the President of the UW Chapter’s Society of Professional Journalists. Hamlin is a journalism major at the University of Washington with interdisciplinary Honors, and a minor in Law, Societies & Justice. Find her on Twitter @ItsKelseyHamlin or see her other work on her website.