Monthly Archives: May 2017

KSD Out of Country Travel Cancellation

by Trenton Curtis – Staff Reporter

The music department will march.
However, instead of performing in Victoria, Canada this year, instead the music students will participate in the annual Lilac Festival torch lit parade in Spokane.
The annual Lilac Festival is a celebration that started in 1938. The festival runs May 18 to May 21, with the torch lit parade starting at 7:45 PM Saturday evening.
Due to a unanimous vote, the Kent School Board cancelled the music department’s annual trip to Victoria, Canada, where they usually march in the Victoria Days Parade. The trip was cancelled due to concerns regarding potential undocumented immigrants not being able to cross the border back into the United States.
Students are undecided whether the Lilac Festival will be a good substitution. Junior Megan Monohan said, “I think that it would an appropriate substitute however it won’t be the same since it is a very different experience. In a sense of performing in a parade, yes. But everyone will still have the sense that they were cheated. And I think that regardless of the parade, people enjoy Victoria more as a location.”
District executive director of communications, Chris Loftis said, “You cannot go on a field trip with 60 kids and come back with 59.” With this statement, the school board is acknowledging there is an undisclosed number of undocumented immigrants who attend school in the Kent District. The board made the decision to cancel the trip to Victoria because they did not want the undocumented students to feel excluded. “This is about equity not equality,” a board member said during an emergency meeting.
Several students in the music department have voiced their displeasure with the board’s decision. “To be honest, it’s more than just a bit heartbreaking” sophomore and trombone player Braden Ross said in an interview with the Seattle Times.
Sophomore Cayla Dreisbach said, “I feel that it’s really unfair for the KSD Board to not only cancel this trip because of ‘suspected’ undocumented kids but to also give different excuses each time we ask. They also took credit for the Lilac Festival that JU [John Urmenita] had to scramble to arrange and the KSD board didn’t touch any of the paper work, trying to cover themselves up. If illegal immigrants are smart enough to get into this country, they sure as hell will be smart enough not to leave, especially due to the recent political conflicts.  They’re also thinking about defunding the arts so it’s just another step towards that I believe.”
Regardless of the location change, there are aspects of traveling with the band that will still make it a positive experience. Jason Thiel is still looking forward to “spending a weekend with all my graduating senior friends.”
Monohan said, “Well, it’s a torchlight festival, so I am looking forward to still playing the music. I think it has been very cool every year and that it is different than every other school.”

Something Doesn’t Add Up… KSD Budget Cuts Affect After School Buses, Tutoring Availability, and Hiring for Next Year

by Delanie Meisner – Editor-in-Chief

As a consequence of underestimated revenues, overestimated expenditures, and other ‘converging factors’ over the past few years, on April 7, Kent School District instituted an immediate spending and hiring freeze for the rest of the 2016-2017 school year in order to reverse the proclaimed ‘budget crisis’.
Here, department budgets not only were reduced, but then frozen as curricular leaders tried to spend the rest of this years’ monies on supplies. In order to spend the rest of the money, leaders must justify how the money will be spent on student learning.
Not only were the department budgets frozen, decisions were made regarding programs the school offers. The activities buses that run on both Wednesdays and Thursdays have been reduced to Thursdays only. Curricular leaders and administration wanted to continue the Thursday activity bus so that students can still get extra help after school, clubs can continue to operate, and students can ride the bus after serving detention.
Teachers were also cautioned against food being thrown away in classrooms because the school is running out of garbage liners and will not be able to purchase more this year.
For a budget to work properly, expenses and income must match. There must be a comparable amount of money entering and exiting the district. However, this is not the case of the KSD budget. Mike Newman, KSD Chief Business Officer said, “Simply put, over the past several years, we’ve experienced a decreasing fund balance due to higher costs and lower revenues than previously predicted.”
According to the KSD website, approximately 40% of the budget shortfall is accredited to an overestimation of student enrollment. It said, “Like all school districts, KSD has to predict future class sizes using standard population forecasting – new building permits, housing starts, and new apartment construction. However, some of those projects predicted for the KSD service area did not materialize. In addition, there was an increase in the number of students participating in Running Start as well as a new local charter school. That combination reduced actual enrollment by some 500 students from earlier predictions.“
The district also puts partial blame on the State for some of the problems. It said, “Action by the Legislature to fully fund basic education (McCleary) would have assisted in providing the resources for the compensation increases.” Additionally, the district said, “Had the legislature replaced the “ghost dollars” (I-728, I-732, and the K-4 Enhancement) with real resources, those would have equated to over $35 million for students in the Kent School District.”
This 2016-2017 school year, the materials, supplies, and operating cost budget was cut by 20%. These actions were supposed to help the district to get back on track fiscally. On some levels, this worked, but according to the graphs provided by the district, there could still be a $10-20 million deficit if spending were to continue as usual.
Due to this potential deficit, the spending and hiring freeze was enacted. The spending freeze entails that, “Any materials, supplies, textbooks, and software that is not essential to completing this school year, will not be purchased. We are also placing a temporary stop on all overtime, extra hours, and special projects, much of our professional development that’s planned, as well as out of district travel not already approved.” Newman said.
All essential services such as transportation, food and nutrition, mandatory testing, and repairs will continue to be funded.
The hiring freeze means that for the rest of the 16-17 school year, all open positions will not be filled. All open positons will be up for review next year to determine necessity. As of right now, there are no plans to reduce the workforce, so no one will be laid off this coming school year. However, if the budget problems persist, a reduction in force will be considered in future years.
As a result of the budget deficits, students can expect to be in classes that are at full capacity. “In 2017-18, classes will be larger and more classes will be in overload–although no classes will be over the negotiated class size cap. In addition, in some smaller elementary schools, to best utilize human resources with reduced numbers of students, HR allocated for split classes in certain grades.”

Journalism Takes on Seattle; WJEA Convention

by Erin Bedry – Staff Reporter

The Journalism Production team, consisting of Delaine Mesier, Angel Terry, Anna Hartman, Morgan Marko, Maddie Marko, and Jillian Felker, produces the Kentlake Falcon Flyer and recently competed in a Journalism Convention called WJAZA. They work hard to get a quality Falcon Flyer issue out on time, and do even more than that. The Journalism editors often have to stay after school to make sure all the articles are edited and the paper looks just right. At the Journalism Convention, they competed against other school papers and authors in a writing competition.
Four people from Kentlake competed at the convention, although only one placed. The talented journalist who placed was Madison Marko. Morgan Marko, her sister, said, “Madison won honorary mention for news writing. She was the only one who placed and as her sister, I am very proud.”
The convention has inspired new changes in the paper. Marko said, “Kentlake should definitely expect some changes in the issues to come, we intend to make the pages more eye catching as well as maybe even change the style of the paper next year, which will probably be the most noticeable change.” For example, journalism would like to try the news magazine layout, which is more modern and eye-catching than the traditional paper layout. Even though the exterior of the Flyer may change, the quality of the articles within it will be the same great quality or better.
Marko said, “Kentlake students should read the Falcon Flyer because it is 100% designed, created, and written by students. It is something that we as a student body have complete control over. It also offers up different viewpoints on hot topics and updates you on news around the school and around the world.” Our Flyer is a component of Kentlake that not every school has the privilege to have.
The Journalism Production team already works hard at producing the Falcon Flyer, but The WJAZA has struck new motivation into the current editing and reporting team to make the paper as great as it can be.

Assassin Begins; Rule Changes Hope for Climatic Ending

by Trenton Curtis – Staff Reporter

Paranoia, sprinting to class, and mass anxiety is upon us. KL Assassin begins May 15.
KLAssassin is a school wide hide and seek game organized by students where there ends up an ultimate winner. Tyson Wenger and Brandon Jessup organized the game this year.
In KLAssassin, each participant is given an envelope containing a sticker and the name of their target. In order to get a “kill”, you, not a hired mercenary or your friend, have to place the sticker on your target’s back without them noticing. If you are “killed” you must give your envelope to whomever “killed” you. Any “kills” must also be confirmed by entering the “dead” target’s ID. This is done by going on the website, klassassin.com/report or by simply clicking on the “report” tab on the KL Assassin website.
There are a few rule changes from last year in order to keep the game fresh. Jessup said, “This year, you must have two kills in the first week or be disqualified. In addition, a randomly selected day will be chosen as a ‘do or die’ day, where you must kill or lose. The conclusion to the game will be a surprise.”
Less experienced assassins should not be worried about how to do well. Jessup said, “People that are not in Kentlake Assassin are your best resource. Use them to help you find your target and the best spot and time to take them down.” Jessup also warned to not be too trustworthy with your allies however. He said, “…remember that these people could also be working for your assassin.”
The beauty in assassin is how each year’s game turns into something different. Jessup said, “In past years, the game ended anticlimactically because the school year ends before a champion wins.” However, this year, the rule changes are making sure the game will be faster paced with even more anxiety.
Jessup said, “There is never a clear predictor of a winner because people will let their guard down and lose. However, the vigilant and the lesser known have a real good chance.”

 

Rule number 1: You can only participate if you are enrolled in AT LEAST 4 CLASSES at Kentlake.
Rule number 2: “Kills” must happen on Kentlake school campus, during 7 to 7:35, passing periods, the TARGET’S lunch and between 2:10 and 2:30 PM
Rule number 3: “Kills” must be completed by the person who was assigned the target
Rule number 4: If you are inactive for one week, you will automatically be eliminated
Rule 5: Three absences from a school week will also result in an automatic elimination
Rule 6: the sticker must be placed on the target’s back without the target aware of the attempt until its completion
Rule 7: Any sticky note or sticker can be used if the one given to you has been lost
Rule 8: Contested kills must be reported within an hour or no consideration will be given
Rule 9: Any continued or aggressive conflict because of a contested kill will result in both parties being eliminated
Rule 10: There will be a “Do or die” day on an unannounced day after the first week of assassin. Everyone must get at least once “kill” or they will be eliminated
Rule 11: DO NOT DO ANYTHING DANGEROUS OR STUPID
And finally, Rule 12: Have fun, chill. It is just a game.

Bombing Displays Necessary Leadership Despite Controversy

by Nick Shepard – Staff Reporter

Much controversy has arisen in recent weeks following President Trump’s green light on the use of military force against the Syrian Assad regime on April 6. The President’s order came in retaliation for the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians two days earlier. Even though the chemical attack left 89 people dead, including many children, and fully justified a return attack, plenty of people are going after Trump for acting on not enough information.
First, one thing needs to be set straight: the Assad regime did use Sarin gas against its own people. The main argument those opposed to Trump’s action give is that there is no proof that it was the Assad regime and could just as easily have been ISIS. But at least 10 victims of the attack were analyzed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons soon after their deaths, and all indicated signs of having been exposed to Sarin or a similar substance.
The Ministry of Defense also announced on April 13 that tests had been conducted in British labs on several blood and hair samples from victims of the attack, and all again tested positive for Sarin.
Russia, Syria’s main ally, has made claims that a regular Syrian airstrike had hit a terrorist weapons depot, and that had released the substances contributing to the mass death – but if Russia is still a credible source of information for world affairs, then I guess they did not meddle in the U.S. election at all.
Now that is clear; it isn’t a question whether or not it was Assad and his regime that did the killing. It is only a question of whether or not military retaliation was justified.
While it is difficult for me to voice support for any controversial thing the Trump administration does, this was the right choice. If arguably the most powerful and well-equipped nation on the planet sits idly by following the slaughter of civilians, and with the use of chemical weapons, nothing is off the table for people like Assad.
During both world wars and most conflicts since, there has been a mutual understanding between combatants that if they deploy chemical weapons, they can prepare to have an equal or greater level of destruction used against them. Much as the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction kept us on the brink but not over the edge of nuclear war during the Cold War, the understanding on chemical weapons saved the world from many awful atrocities that could have occurred in the last century or so.
Under that unspoken agreement, it could be argued that we went easy on Syria. Assad could have expected to be wiped out of existence after what he did – instead of simply ‘degrading or destroying’ sections of the Syrian airbase from whence the plane carrying chemical weapons was said to have departed.
The Russians that were said to have been present at the site of the U.S. strike were given a one-hour notice and according to the Syrian state news they were not among the six killed at the airbase.
Overall, the act committed by the Assad regime was undeniably a gross violation of international law, and if there is any line that can be crossed to provoke military action from us, then Assad crossed it, kept running, and didn’t look back.

New Pepsi Commercial Mocks Importance of Public Protesting

by Justice Etafo – Staff Reporter

A major uproar was sparked when Pepsi a major soda company decided to air a commercial that is claimed to have inaccurately portrayed the relationship between protestors and the police. This particular advertisement featured reality star/model, Kendal Jenner and began with Kendal nodding and sharing fist bumps with her fellow protestors. Kendall then grabs a Pepsi from a well-stocked cooler and proceeded to hand the refreshing drink to a cop this simple gesture seemingly ends all the conflict.
Social media commentators were critical of Pepsi’s commercial and accused them of stigmatizing real world issues in order to sell its product whilst also undermining the seriousness and danger of an actual protest. In the YouTube description for the commercial, titled “Live for Now Moments Anthem,” Pepsi calls it “a short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back.” Pepsi was certainly deserving of the hate they have received following the commercial, their greed and portrayal of such an essential process was far from the best choice. Therefore, I hope they learned never to make that mistake again, leaving such controversial issues to those within the protests.
Pepsi has long since apologized for the production and release of the video formally saying, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize.” They also said, “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”
Since Pepsi pulled down the commercial their hate has died down, but this has not stopped some humorous protestors who have turned the entire situation into a joke by insisting that a Pepsi can end any conflict. Although ineffective, it is still very entertaining to watch people try to hand their opposing protestors or some police a cold can of Pepsi, hoping to end the conflict but overall failing to do so.
This controversial commercial has even been brought to the attention of Elle Hearn’s, the executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and formerly an organizer for Black Lives Matter, who said the ad “plays down the sacrifices people have historically taken in utilizing protests.”
Kendall Jenner stayed out of the public eye for a while following the controversial commercial, and Pepsi has already taken down the commercial. This is in Kendall Jenner and Pepsi’s best interest, as they should know that they made a huge mistake trying to cash in on the outputs for essential ideas. Also although unintentionally doing so, demeaning the purpose and impacts of an actual protest.

Movie Remakes Unnecessary, yet common attempt by Disney

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by Anna Hartman – Student Life Editor

No matter where you look today, Disney remakes are somewhere. As soon as the giant movie company finishes one remake of an iconic film, they seem to start production on at least two more. The only real question at this point is; where does it end?
Disney already has many live action movies already on the agenda. So many, in fact, that the list never seems to end. “Mulan”, “Aladdin”, “The Lion King”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Dumbo”, “Snow White”, “Pinocchio”, “The Sword in the Sword”, “Peter Pan” and “Winnie the Pooh” are all rumored to be in production, by multiple sources and we will most likely see these films in theatres within the next several years.
Remakes of classic films are like a fine spice, all right in moderation, but can become excessive very quickly. These live action films are riding on the coattails of recently successful Disney remake, “Beauty and the Beast”, however the sheer mass of live action films capitalizing on this trend only serve to make Disney appear unoriginal.
Disney has shown repeatedly that they can make quality, original films, as was exemplified by the release of Moana in November of 2016. The movie was met with widespread critical and commercial success, and will stand with the best of Disney classics throughout the rest of film history. Instead of making more original creations like this one, however, Disney focuses on making an excessive amount of remakes, only doing well at the box office due to the success of the original films they were based on.
Although, yes, these remakes do have some benefits compared to the originals, such as increased graphical capabilities and additional character dimension being added to the classics. However, the effort being put into these remakes could be better spent on making new, original stories, rather than an excessive amount of remakes.
While there is nothing inherently bad about the quality of these remakes, there is nothing exceptional about them either. They are nice to look at, and nostalgic for many fans, however, at the end of the day, very few of these movies live up to the originals, and do not have the same atmosphere, and do not bring back the childhood fondness of the original movies.
These remakes do not show off the best Disney has to offer, and instead are a cheap way for the company to keep making money, but without having to come up with original ideas for stories. Disney has put out so many quality movies in the past, and could continue to do the same through the years, but instead insist on bringing these classics back, though they would be better left alone in favor of original stories.

Featured this Month: The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

by Jillian Felker

The North West Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP) works to promote justice by defending the rights of immigrants through legal services, systematic advocacy, and community education. NWIRP’s legal services help thousands of immigrants in Washington State and in the United States to navigate through legal systems and can them to apply for asylum or other forms of protection. Access to NWIRP can also be a major factor in providing economic and personal security. Without legal support, many clients would be unable to have basic services such as housing, medical assistance or even basic services, as many immigrant’s fear notifying the police for protection from violence and other crimes. The NWIRP’s principles are shown through their work, as they advocate for dignity, fairness, solidarity, Self-determination, safety and inclusion.
“We are the, I would say the largest services provider in Washington state. That Provides all different forms of immigration really for low-income immigrants and it ranges from Asylum to family services like family petitions, citizenship, Differed action for childhood arrivals, and then U-Visas, follow-up petitions. So there’s a lot of different types of forms really. We have four offices, one in Seattle, one in Tacoma, one in Wenatchee, which is eastern Washington, and Granger which is also eastern Washington.” Said Michele Suarez, Staff Attorney (DACA) at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “You can think of the Northwest Immigrant Rights project as an immigration law firm, but all of our services are completely for free… We want to make sure that our community members are receiving excellent legal services, despite the fact that they might not be able to afford a private immigration attorney.” Said Tania Santiago, Legal Advocate (VAWA) at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Careers in Immigration Law

by Angel Terry

During conversations about foreign policy and immigration, those who are aware of their citizenship often feel as though there is nothing they can do to alleviate that situation. In contrast, many people do not take into account just how much immigrants affect their daily lives – and in turn are dismissive towards their issues. “It is human rights, to have a safe place to live and safe access to food, and water and sometimes if people cannot find that in their home country they have to go and find some place that can. It is a universal thing no matter where you go.” Said Gabriella Marcia.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project seeks to provide ordinary citizens with resources and tools for getting involved with helping on projects associated with immigration. NWIRP is the only Washington State organization that provides comprehensive legal-service to low-income immigrants and refugees. NWIRP seeks to find volunteers who have a passion for aiding with legal immigration issues, or plan to attend law school with a focus in immigration legal services or justice.
While the agency has no specific ways that high school students are able to help, it does provide a legitimate resource to contact after post-secondary education in the field of immigration legal services.
At the end of the day, immigrants and refugees are people, and contributing members of society. People who are immigrants surround us, the people who are closest to us in proximity can be immigrants and one would not even know, considering the sensitivity of disclosing such information. They are our friends, coworkers, employers, teachers, coaches – the list is endless.
Pursuing a career in legal immigration services will seek to alleviate the already negative connotation that comes with being an immigrant, and making a significant improvement of the lives of people who simply want to do better for themselves.
“We really need volunteers who can commit to long times, because it takes a long time to train someone…To do an internship, we always have like law school internship, but occasionally we have college students help. If they are interested in a full time commitment of like ten weeks… Its nine to five, Monday through Friday, so I know that’s tough because of school and even college students are very interested and want to help but we really cannot do something that just a few hours once a month… As far as what you can do, because you are so young is just educating your friends and other people so that they know and they can tell their friends, and I think that’s very important. Writing blogs, or if you see something that is very offensive to stand up to it. People think because they are between 15-18 they do not have a voice, but they do. Going to protests or just really educating others, I think it’s the main thing you can do for now and then when you’re in college, there is going to be more opportunities to pursue something in that direction. You can always tell others to donate. If you know other people with money, they can donate, because we operate by donations… We really need money because we hired a few new positions, but we need donations to keep coming so that we can keep people that we have hired and keep doing community presentations.” Said Michele Suarez.

Immigrants: Know Your Rights

by Grace Frunk, Jillian Felker, Madsion Marko, Angel Terry

What is DACA?

DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA is designed to help undocumented youth, who meet certain requirements, obtain temporary immigration protections such as work permits, and protection from deportation. “Its really hard for people to get all this documentation if they were out of school for a long time and then, now it’s almost a ten year requirement. In June it will be ten years that they have to show all the documentation and all they get out of this is a work permit that only lasts for 2 years.” Said Michele Suarez.
The Northwest Immigrant rights project (NWIRP) holds free workshops in Wenatchee and Seattle. These workshops help explain DACA requirements, and help individuals apply. It is mandatory to have an appointment to attend a free legal clinic; these clinics are for volunteers to help fill out forms for renewals.
Please note: President Trump threatened to remove the DACA program within the first 100 days of his presidency. Although Trump has yet to remove the DACA program, NWIRP does not recommend that new applicants apply for the DACA program. Individuals may apply for DACA at their own risks. “We are advising people, if you have any criminal history, Don’t apply, because there is a huge risk. It’s not just getting denied, but you can be placed in removal proceedings, meaning you might have immigration court and be deported.” Said Suarez.
“I have literary met people who, came here when they were eight months and have never left the United States. And now, they are in their early twenties and if they were deported…they would be going to a country they never knew… That is what I primarily work in, Deferred Action or Childhood Arrival, to help. A lot of people have DACA now, but there is still people who are eligible and under this administration, it is very difficult because Trump said he was going to end that program that Obama started. So then, what’s going happen with the million young adults who are like your age (high school aged). It’s literary taking you to a different country. As far as your roll, just knowing, and educating because that’s the best. Starting conversations with people don’t know…A lot of people even don’t that non-citizens or you can call them undocumented immigrants have the right to remain silent if ICE tries to approach them… There are just these basic constitutional rights in our constitution that says all persons; it doesn’t say you have to be a U.S Citizen.” Said Suarez.

Vawa Unit: (survivors of domestic violence)

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides representation to immigrants who are survivors of domestic violence. These survivors are looking for immigration benefits. The primary cases that the VAWA Unit handles includes U Visa Petitions; T Visa Petitions; VAWA Self-Petitions; and Petitions for Waiver to Remove Conditions on Residency; as well as Removal (Deportation) Defense in Immigration Court.
VAWA and Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) work to guarantee that a person’s immigration status does not make them dependent on their abusers. There are four groups of immigrant survivors who are protected by these laws:
Victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence and sexual assault, and their families;
Spouses, children, and parents of abusive United States citizens or lawful permanent residents;
Immigrant children in foster care who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned;
Immigrant survivors of violence who are in removal (deportation) proceedings.

Youth Immigrants’ Rights:

Immigrant youth have the right to avoid/escape mistreatment, such as abandonment, abuse, neglect, or anything other form of mistreatment by a parent. Special Immigrant Juveniles Status (SIJS) provides relief to children and youth who deal with mistreatments such as the ones listed above. You are eligible to apply for SIJS, if a state juvenile court determines that you cannot be reunified with the parent(s) who have abused, abandoned, neglected or mistreated. The court must also decide that the child should not be returned to their home country. When a child or youth is given SIJS they are then eligible to apply for a green card in the U.S.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship:

All immigrants have the right to become a U.S citizen. Any immigrant can gain U.S citizenship by meeting the requirements as a lawful permanent resident. An immigrant may apply to become a U.S citizen five years after they become a lawful permanent resident. If they are married to a U.S citizen, they may apply after three years of being a lawful permanent resident. Immigrants must show that they have good moral character/no-disqualifying criminal record. They must pass a test demonstrating an ability to read, write and speak in English, and have an understanding of the U.S government. Gaining U.S citizenship provides the right to vote in federal, state and local elections. They have greater rights when it comes to filing petitions to reunite with family members. They are secure from being deported.

Facing Removal:

All immigrants have the right to be treated respectfully and with dignity. Detainees, although not limited to, are asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their own country, but end up landing in a detention facility after attempting to across the U.S border. According to the NWIRP website, “Detainees include breadwinners separated from families that depend on them, pregnant mothers, the mentally ill, members of the LGBT community and even U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained.”

Keeping Families Together:

NWIRP helps keep families together. They provide assistance with family visa applications and represent family members facing deportation. Family Visa Workshops are held once a month in Seattle. These provide a 40 minute presentation for an overview of the family-based petition process. Each workshop can have no more than 40 attendants.
To sign up for a Family Visa Workshop and intake call 206-587-4009 if you live in western Washington, Call 509-854-2100 (Granger office) if you live in eastern Washington or 509-570-0054 (Wenatchee office) for individual intakes.

Immigration Raids:

Anyone who does uphold to having lawful immigration status and persons who have status, but have certain criminal convictions are at risk for being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Trump Administrations claims to initially focus on deporting the following people:
People who have pending criminal cases AND/OR prior criminal convictions.
People with final orders of removal.
People who have committed fraud or misrepresentation in applications to the government.
Lastly, anyone who they believe poses a threat to public safety or national security.
To find out what ways ICE could know you, how to protect yourself from raids, and what rights you have when it comes to immigration raids, go to the “know your rights” section on the NWIRP website and scroll down the page until you find “How to Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids.”

Asylum: individuals who gain safety in another country who are escaping persecution in their home countries.

NWIRP’s asylum unit can help with assisting pro se applicants by guiding them through the application process. Every single immigrant has the right to seek a safe haven. International and U.S law entitles people who are in fear of returning to their home country, because of persecution or torture, eligible for asylum.
NWIRP assist with filing applications for asylum with U.S citizenship and they can represent asylum seekers with their interviews and immigration court hearings. NWIRP will defend asylees, asylum-seekers and refugees against deportation from the U.S in Immigration and federal courts.

Cuong Ngo (bingo): Vietnam

It’s almost time I have to say goodbye to Vietnam and moving on to a new country. That means I have to say goodbye to where I was born and grew up for my pass twelve years. All the good and bad memories, they will stay in my heart. I need to move on to a new country, they call United States. Everyone has a dream to live there, and to make their lives better. It makes me feel special. Even though I will miss all that I’ve known.
For the first time, I was on a plane. I was so excited to come to the USA – that feeling was indescribable. It makes me feel like I can fly, for the first time I had arrived in the US. The Seattle airport was huge and beautiful, with lot of people from a different countries in the airport. They were walking fast; I think they cannot wait to see their family, just like my dad wants to see my mom and I. However, my mom and I were lost because we did not know the way and we did not speak English. We were lucky, there was a Vietnamese guy who came to us and helped us out. After we got out of the airport. The first thing we saw was my dad and my dad’s family. They were really happy to see us, then they took us home. When I went outside of the airport, the sky was inky, rainy and cold. I smelled the fresh air from the rain clearing out of the city. In the city where I lived everyone knew they have the light, it means you can see all of the view, it looks like the morning, and in the US they don’t have that much light. I had never been on a freeway, freeway to drive home fast. To me it is like a new world, everything it’s different to me.
After I came to the US, I felt like I already ended one of my chapters of my life. In my new chapter, I have a lot of challenge to face with. My first challenge, was for me to learn how to speak English. My uncle had to find school for me, and what grade I was going in to. This was a hard challenge for my mom and I because, we did not speak English. My English was so bad, the only thing I knew how to say was “hello”, and “how are you?” I was feeling really down. I had no friends that can cheer me up, but finally, I made friends. I still cannot understand what they are trying say. I wondered how I can learn English, how long it takes me to understand and know everything like a person born in United States. I had a feeling that the challenge was getting harder for my mom and I. My mom had to find a job, learn to drive and learn to speak English just like me. We are must put more efforts to study, my parents, and I. They were just worried about money and their jobs too much, but they forgot that they need to study and spend time with their kid, and I think they just worried too much of everything to plan; buying cars and a house. I felt they are carrying a big world on their back just like the Greek God Atlas. Atlas carried the world on his shoulder, and so my mother. She has to worry about her family in Vietnam and worry about all my family problems in the United States. It makes me sad and worried about her. If I work hard more in school and understand all the paper bills, I can help her a little bit with her problem. Maybe it’s not a big thing but at least my mom will not stress out too much about English.
English is really hard, It has many ways to say one idea. I have a feeling that my mom and I had become newborn babies again. We had to start everything over, it was like a newborn baby when they are hungry or they want something they just cry until they get what they want. I had to learn English from the beginning, learning kid’s songs and trying to catch up all the missing work just like other friends. I have to study day and night, because that helped me understand English better, and I had to learn to speak. My parent push me a lot. They always said “You have to study and study, that is the only thing that can help you. No one can really help you in the future.” After one month in elementary school, I got a little better, and then summer came. My uncle made me study vocab words for months, days, weeks, years, and how to ask questions when I don’t understand. Every week he comes over and I have to do quizzes for all the lessons he teaches me. After three months, school began -all my friends were surprised that I got much better when they first saw me. But to me that was not enough, I have try harder and harder. I need to worry about my future, what I’m going to be. At that time, I was feeling down because I could not help my family. I was crying like a baby, just because I could not help and I am frustrated. I was falling and falling but I never give up, I have to stand up and tell myself I can do anything I want. I remember a quote about failing “If you are not failing, you never know what you did wrong and never learn the lesson.” I keep standing up every time I fall, but it helps me learn the lesson of what I did wrong. Just like a ten-month old learning to walk, they might fail but they always stand up by themselves. That is how they learn and also that’s how I learned my lesson. How I can make my dream come true? If I want to make my dream come true, I have to put more effort into my learning and studying.

Anonymous: Nepal

I came from Nepal. My family and I came here because the refugee camp we were staying in was not good—there was lots of fighting and people getting drunk. It was a hard life. At the camp we had no electricity, phones, cars, or technology of any kind. This situation is why we decided to come to the United States. Even though we struggled there, it has not been easy here either. When we came, we didn’t know English. But, there is definitely more freedom here than Nepal. I like going to school, and my favorite subject is science.

Anonymous: Ethiopia

I came to the United States from Ethiopia. I have family here that I came to join. We came in search of a better life and a better education. It took two days to get here by plane, and the rain was a shock. In Ethiopia there is nine months of summer, but here there is a lot of rain. I have been in the United States for two years, and the hardest part was learning English. It was difficult to communicate with people at first. My favorite part about Kentlake has been the students—they are very friendly, and my favorite subject is math. Although I like it here, I do miss my family in Ethiopia.