San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee approved $1.8 million to provide for the legal defense of unaccompanied immigrant minors facing deportation.
The funding will be distributed to a group of organizations called the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC), including the San Francisco Bar Association, the Central American Resource Center of Northern California, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. The SFILDC is dedicated to protecting the due process rights and providing representation to unaccompanied children and families facing deportation on the “surge” or “expedited” dockets in the San Francisco Immigration Court.
SFILDC legal director, Avantika Shastri, from the Bar Association of San Francisco, said because immigration court is a civil court, defendants are not entitled to a public defender, so funding for legal representation is vital. The new $1.8 million will provide funding for the next two years.
The money will also allow immigrant children to enroll in school and obtain social services, according to the mayor’s office.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)