State and Local
For 11 years, the Tax EZ program, offered by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has helped clients prepare nearly 15,000 returns, generating millions of dollars in refunds.
For the 2016 tax season, Steve Hicken, Division Director of Economic Development Services, shifted the location of services from the Catholic Charities offices to parishes. This approach encourages interactions between newcomers and the people of their new hometowns, epitomizing immigrant integration on the local level. Ultimately, it may also result in higher numbers of tax returns being filed.
Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) fulfills a dire need for immigration legal services in the West Puget Sound, a lowland area west of Seattle characterized by saltwater bays, islands, and peninsulas. In this area, there are no other community-based organizations providing services to immigrants. The West Puget Sound has an almost invisible immigrant population that largely goes unnoticed by service providers. KIAC was founded in 2004 and since then has been working to assist immigrants in the West Puget Sound better their lives.
So far, we’ve explored the rapid demographic shift of the Southeast region and the emergence of the New Latino South, demonstrating the need for more immigration legal service providers and resources. But if the growth and impact of this community is evident and felt throughout the region, why aren’t there more legal service providers for immigrants in the Southeast in the first place?