St. James Immigrant Assistance
formerly the St. James ESL Program

Our Mission

The St. James Immigrant Assistance mission is to advance justice for refugees and immigrants through education, advocacy, and by helping the most isolated refugees and immigrants to learn English, become citizens and connect to community resources.
Read more about St. James Immigrant Assistance...

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We Have A New Name!

Our name change from "St. James ESL" to "St. James Immigrant Assistance" reflects our broad range of services. We will continue to offer ESL instruction in addition to assistance with citizenship prep and application, deferred action applications, community involvement, and community resources.

Immigration in the News

See the latest news on our immigration page...

Learn about immigration

Announcements & Events

TAKE ACTION! Hunger Strike at the Northwest Detention Center

About 1,000 immigrant detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma had gone without food since Friday, March 7. Find out why and what you can do to help...

Volunteer Information Session

Monday, May 12 from 5pm- 6:30pm
St. James Pastoral Outreach Center
Courtyard entrance (corner of 9th & Columbia)

Teach Survival ESL, volunteer in the office, be a Cultural Navigator!
Read volunteer descriptions...

Help push us toward our goal!

This year our goal is to help another 25 people become U.S. citizens, double the number of clients receiving ESL instruction and establish four more Survival ESL Skills groups for elder refugees and immigrants. Find out how you can help...

Sponsor a Citizenship Client

Make a real and lasting difference in the life of a refugee or immigrant.
Become a Sponsor...

St. James Immigrant Assistance

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About St. James Immigrant Assistance

St. James Immigrant Assistance (formerly the St. James ESL Program) is a 501(c)(3), non-sectarian, volunteer and community-based organization that provides free English instruction and Citizenship assistance to low-income adult refugees and immigrants in Seattle and King County, Washington. Founded in 1975 with one tutor and one Vietnamese client, SJIA has grown to serve clients from 37 countries in all parts of the world. In 2011-2012, along with our 83 volunteers, we served 481 immigrants and refugees in King County.


Fawziah Al-Hlaly / Marcia Ditter / Jane Herrmann / Tom FitzMacken / Barbara Marcouiller / Joyce Mork-O'Brien / Michelle Strah / Surab Vadachkoria / Joe Varano

"While we do not support illegal immigration we are committed to helping all persons in need regardless of their legal status...Our goal as a community of disciples is comprehensive immigration reform to provide legal pathways for family reunification, guest workers and those seeking citizenship.

We will reach out to all persons in need, including immigrants, regardless of their legal status.

This is nothing new. The Archdiocese of Seattle has a consistent and longstanding commitment to justice based on our belief in the dignity of all persons."

-- Archbishop Brunett