At the Portraits of Justice fundraising gala on April 13, Wenatchee-based immigration lawyer Paula Arno Martinez received the Commitment to Community Service Award.

This honor is bestowed upon members of the legal community who are especially altruistic. Recipients are affiliated with an organization called Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services, which provides free legal counsel to the poor.

Like many legal aid societies, CDCVAS depends largely on small donors for its survival.

Arno Martinez has worked with CDCVAS for over a decade, primarily as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking clients; she sits in on legal consultations. Unfortunately for clients who lack English language proficiency, their right to an interpreter is not explicitly enshrined in the Constitution.

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In response to winning this award, Arno Martinez professed her gratitude and her belief that "progress is a collective effort. We must work together to create a more just and compassionate world."

A graduate of UT-San Antonio, Arno Martinez subsequently received her Juris Doctor degree from Texas Southern University. She was licensed by the Texas Bar in 2013 and has practiced immigration law ever since.

Her résumé includes a stint with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where she represented DACA applicants. (DACA was still in its infancy at the time. Public opinion on the program remains bitterly polarized.)

In addition to her legal and volunteer work, Arno Martinez sits on the Wenatchee Valley College Board of Trustees, among numerous other boards. She was appointed in 2020. According to WVC President Faimous Harrison, Arno Martinez has been "instrumental in supporting diversity and inclusion" at the school.

2020 Census Ranking Of North Dakota Immigrants By Country

I believe you may be surprised by who is the number one exporter of future North Dakotans. For that, we turn to by way of It's a very diverse group of nations indeed. You will be WOWED by number one. I kid you not.

Gallery Credit: Unsplash/

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