UW School of Law professor Anita Ramasastry and Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP) will be honored September 22 by the the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) with the 2007 Amicus Award at the organization's 23rd Anniversary Gala.
Founded in 1996 by Ramasastry as a partnership between NWIRP and the UW School of Law, IFAP trains and matches law students with pro bono attorneys and immigrant survivors of domestic violence. IFAP volunteers assist immigrants who are eligible to self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act or petition for other types of relief as victims of criminal domestic violence or special immigrant juvenile status. IFAP has helped more than 150 immigrant women and children leave abusive families, without the threat of deportation, to begin new lives free of violence. Additionally, it provides law students with the chance to gain training and experience in immigration law, domestic violence advocacy, and client counseling. Of all the UW law student organizations, it is the only one that permits first-year students to work directly with clients in need.
Ramasastry is a Fulbright Fellow and in 2002, she received the University of Washington Outstanding Public Service Award for her work with IFAP clients.
"I'm in awe of Anita, especially since this particular work is not her key area of legal scholarship or focus. Yet her passion for the well-being of vulnerable people compels her to do good work wherever she can," said Michele Storms, Executive Director of the law school's Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program. "Many women and children have been made safe from physical harm and fear of deportation because of the work of students and volunteers with IFAP. We are very proud of Anita."
NWIRP is a Seattle non-profit that defends and advances the legal rights of low-income immigrants and refugees. Each year, it presents the Amicus Award to an organization that has shown exceptional participation and commitment to pro bono legal representation to assist and further the rights of immigrants and refugees.