Beans for Bags Recipient Spotlight - Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates

Get to know the work your local non-profits are up to!

This month we are proud to support the Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates (JCIRA) as one of our Beans for Bags recipients. We asked JCIRA what they have been up to recently and this is what they said………..



The immigration issue is truly national in scope but JCIRA “makes it local.”  We work with immigrants and families living and/or working in Jefferson and Clallam Counties.  Immigrant families deserve the same respect and constitutional rights as all other residents – and JCIRA works to ensure that these goals are achieved every day of the year. 

We offer free or low cost legal services so that immigrants can get or renew their green cards or work towards citizenship.  Our KNOW YOUR RIGHTS workshops give immigrants tools for dealing with ICE and Border Patrol in their jobs or homes, on busses, in courthouses and on the street. 

Immigrants and their families needing help with particular expenses can apply to the JCIRA Legal Defense and Family Support Fund.  Money received from the Food Co-op Beans For Bags program will help support that Fund and enable JCIRA to conduct outreach to additional immigrants.

As advocates, JCIRA organizes frequent public rallies and submits comments on particular national policies and legislation affecting immigrants.  We collaborate with local organizations (Habitat for Humanity, area faith groups, health and social service agencies, Indivisible Huddle, political parties and more).

JCIRA also engages with a neighbor across the water – the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.  We’ve provided tangible assistance and emotional support to detainee families as groups of JCIRA members meet with them on visiting days.  At the same time, our signs express criticism of this for-profit private prison as well as the overall governmental policy of detention.

JCIRA is a 501( c )( 3 ) tax-deductible organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are all activists themselves.  We currently have 362 supporters and use newsletters and public meetings to keep everyone informed and participating actively.  Newcomers are always welcome. Contact us at for detailed information about meetings and upcoming events.

JCIRA Actions and Successes:

  • Initiated and supported City of Port Townsend Resolution No. 17-014 declaring PT a Welcoming City

  • Sets up free or low-cost immigration appointments here in PT, with experienced representatives of Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center, our partnering organization

  • Distributed 300 yard signs supporting immigrants and refugees

  • Placed signs offering Low Cost Legal Advice for Immigrants on all Jefferson Transit busses

  • Distributed funds to both families and individuals in need

  • Conducted three standing vigils at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, met with families of detainees and visited individuals detained inside

  • Initiated and supported Jefferson Board of County Commissioners Human Rights Proclamation

  • Collected donated laptop computers for use by immigrant students at home

  • Supported Y summer camp attendance by immigrant children

  • Distributed several hundred JCIRA rack cards offering legal services throughout Jefferson County

  • Initiated meetings with both the Police Department and the Sheriff’s office to discuss fair and constitutional policies in relation to immigrants

  • Conducted workshop for Olympic Peninsula Head Start Family Workers about issues facing immigrant children and families

  • Supported KNOW YOUR RIGHTS workshops in Port Townsend and Sequim

  • Sponsored sessions for immigrants on voter registration, health insurance and other important topics

  • Met with Representatives of Senators Murray and Cantwell to discuss immigrant issues specific to the Olympic Peninsula

  • Participated in, and helped organize, PT Women’s Marches in 2018 and 2019

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