Mayor Mark Farrell, Assemblymember Phil Ting and Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer Announce Funding Efforts to Provide Universal Representation for Detained Northern California Immigrants
Mayor Mark Farrell, Assemblymember Phil Ting and Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer today announced funding efforts to provide universal legal representation for all detained immigrants facing deportation in Northern California.
“As the Mayor of San Francisco, I will not back down from fighting against the spiteful and oppressive policies of the federal administration,” said Mayor Farrell. “San Francisco and the State of California must work together to keep our hardworking families from being heartlessly broken apart by these destructive policies. We will stand up together to protect our residents when they are being attacked.”
Mayor Farrell and Assemblymember Ting are partnering together to advocate for $7 million in state funding, which will pay for legal representation for every immigrant currently detained in Northern California. A majority of detained immigrants go before a judge without legal representation.
“It’s great to see that the $45 million allocated in last year’s state budget strengthened legal services for immigrants throughout our state,” said Assemblymember Ting. “I know the need continues to be great, and I look forward to the City’s input as we put together another state spending plan in the coming months.”
With immigrants facing unprecedented harassment from the Trump Administration, Mayor Farrell, in partnership with Supervisor Fewer, is also increasing funding support for community based organizations that are on the front line serving local residents.
“We will always support our immigrant communities who came to this country in search of a better life,” said Supervisor Fewer. “Their day-to-day lives have been filled with fear, simply because this President wants to score cheap political points. We will not step aside and allow this to happen. We are standing up, fighting back, and putting our money where our values are.”
“We refuse to stand by and let families get ripped apart because of a cruel and backwards-thinking Federal Administration,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “The more they attack our San Francisco communities, the harder we will fight to protect them. And we will win. By expanding access to legal representation to all immigrants, we are keep immigrant families safe and we are standing against bigotry and xenophobia. We will not be bullied into submission.”
The City will spend an additional $3.5 million annually on legal defense services, bringing the total annual amount to $11.1 million. That represents a 236 percent increase from spending levels two year prior.
Of the $3.5 million in additional funding, $2.5 million will be allocated toward the San Francisco Immigration Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC) and the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network (SFILEN).
"When we stand together, we are powerful,” said Laura Victoria Sanchez, Director for the CARECEN SF’s Immigration Legal Program, which is part of both the SFILEN and SFILDC. “Our 21 partners through SFILEN and SFILDC are at the front lines of responding to these attacks on our immigrant communities. We welcome this additional support to defend the legal rights of our community.”
An additional $1 million will go toward the budget of the Public Defender’s Office.