Legal Aid and Important Updates

Definition of an Undocumented Student

"An undocumented student is a foreign national who: (1) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documents; or (2) entered legally as a non-immigrant but then violated the terms of his or her status and remained in the United States without authorization" (as defined by the National Immigration Law Center).

Support at Gonzaga  

While it is impossible at this point to predict the outcome of the USSC case it is important to understand that regardless of the ultimate decision many regional DACA students will continue to require legal assistance and guidance. Gonzaga University has a history of regional collaboration in support of this need. One previous manifestation of this collaboration was the Spokane DACA Renewal Clinics provided for our community in Fall 2017 when the continuation of the program was first threatened (see the attached flyer).

More recently, Gonzaga Law School and Catholic Charities Eastern Washington have launched “The Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic at Gonzaga Law School. The Clinic supports low-income individuals in need of immigration legal assistance and provides training to the next generation of immigration lawyers.

Legal Aid Resources and Updates

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Legal Updates

DACA is an administrative form of immigration relief that offers protection against deportation and authorization to work lawfully in the US. This program is aimed for undocumented immigrant children who meet very specific requirements. Those who have been granted DACA and are authorized to work lawfully in the US must renew this benefit every two years.

Where is DACA Now?

The DCA program has been litigated at different levels since 2017. Currently, DACA is being litigated at the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. At this time, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not processing any new, initial DACA applications and are only processing DACA renewals.

You can read more about DACA at .


Other Immigration Legal Updates

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

TPS is an administrative form of immigration relief that offers protection against deportation for undocumented immigrants from specific designated countries whose nationals are unable to return safely due to the country’s temporary circumstances. Those who meet specific requirements will be offered protection from deportation and be authorized to work lawfully in the US.

The Secretary of Homeland Security has issued new country re-designations and extended re-registration periods.

You can read more about TPS and the re-designation and re-registration updates at .

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

SIJS is a unique pathway to lawful immigration status for juveniles who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by one or both parents. If you are someone who has been granted SIJS and are waiting for your visa priority date to be current and continue to the next step, please check the Visa Bulletin Board every month.

To read more about SIJS, please visit .

Fee Increases for USCIS Filings

USCIS has increased filing fees for certain immigration petitions as of April 1, 2024. Please visit USCIS to learn more about the filing fee increase.

Know Your Rights Information

If you or someone you know is undocumented or is a noncitizen, it is important to know what to do in the event Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains you or you are arrested by local law enforcement officers. An arrest or detention can affect a person’s immigration status.

You can read more about what to do in either of these situations from the following organizations:


Legal Aid Resources: Immigration

For those seeking immigration legal representation, there are various private and non-profit immigrations lawyers in organizations in Washington.

At Gonzaga, the School of Law operates an Immigration Clinic that may be able to assist you in your immigration matter.

To learn more about their services, please visit their website. You may also call at (509) 313-5791 or send an email at  

Additional community resources:

Manzanita House:

Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services:

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP):

Non-Immigration Legal Aid Resources

The Clinical Legal Programs at the School of Law provides legal advice, representation and counseling to low-income community members in a variety of areas of law. To learn more, please visit their website.  

Additional community resources:

Northwest Justice Project (NJP):

Volunteer Lawyers Program (VPL):

Last updated May 2024

Contingency Plan

  1. If a student is deported/detained
  2. If a student’s guardians are deported/detained

Contact American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU) at (206) 624-2184 or Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network at 1 (844) 724-3737.