Four weeks ago, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) —a respected nonprofit in Seattle that represents immigrants in deportation proceedings—received a “cease and desist” letter from the Department of Justice, aka Attorney General Jeff Sessions, threatening disciplinary action. The letter demanded that NWIRP drop representation of its clients and close down its asylum-advisory program. What prompted this action on the part of the DOJ? In all likelihood, it was because NWIRP has been at the forefront of resisting Trump’s travel ban. Its staff and volunteer lawyers were at SeaTac airport immediately after the White House launched the first Muslim ban, and in March it sued to block the second Muslim ban.
Last week, NWIRP filed a lawsuit to defend itself against the DOJ’s order—and on Wednesday, a judge granted a restraining order. So for now, the organization can keep helping immigrants who need legal advice. But…
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