Photo of Jemimah Kamau

Jemimah W. Kamau

  • Hosted by Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Sponsored by The Lorenzini Family Foundation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jemimah will respond to the growing legal and social services needs of Black immigrants in a culturally responsive and linguistically competent manner through workshops, intakes, direct representation, and case referrals.

Racial profiling of Black immigrants has resulted in the unjustifiable mass deportation of this community. In fact, 76% of Black immigrants are deported on criminal grounds compared to 45% of all other immigrants. In the context of immigration, there is generally no right to an attorney. With immigration legal services at capacity, many immigrants are deported without legal representation or an opportunity to present their cases. This project will create capacity and address a particular shortcoming facing Black immigrant communities; namely, the absence of culturally sensitive and linguistically competent legal representation. Helping Black immigrants meet their legal and social needs is at the center of this project.

Fellowship Plans

During this Fellowship, Jemimah will: 1) Increase awareness about the legal and social needs of Black immigrants through outreach, community education, and partnership; 2) provide short-term legal services and direct legal representation to Black immigrants in a culturally sensitive and linguistically competent manner; and 3) establish a referral process with non-immigration legal service providers and community partners, such as schools and churches, to provide holistic services to Black immigrants.

As a Black immigrant, I know what it’s like to handle immigration matters without legal representation and adequate language skills. I will continue to advocate for the legal and social needs of Black immigrants, who face additional barriers including language and culture.

Jemimah Kamau /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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