San Francisco pouring more money to defend detained undocumented immigrants

Thursday, March 01, 2018 08:59PM
San Francisco's interim mayor said he is willing to get arrested if that's what it takes to defend sanctuary city policies. Mark Farrell echoed what Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf has previously said.


SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco's interim mayor said he is willing to get arrested if that's what it takes to defend sanctuary city policies. Mark Farrell echoed what Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf has previously said. San Francisco also announced additional funding for legal services to defend those detained by ICE.

As ICE threatens to conduct more raids in Northern California, San Francisco warned the Trump administration that there will be an army of attorneys representing those undocumented immigrants who have been detained.

Earlier, San Francisco set aside $7.6 million for legal defense services, but now the city will spend an additional 3.5 million a year. Two-point-five million will go to two legal defense organizations and one million to the Public Defender's Office for a total of 11.1 million.

Interim Mayor Mark Farrell is asking Sacramento for another $7 million in state funding for every immigrant currently detained in Northern California.

"Our goal in this funding is to make sure that here in Northern California, and the court is in San Francisco physically, every single immigrant that comes before the court that the Trump administration tries to deport has legal representation," said Farrel.

Legal services have been strengthened even before President Trump took office.

"In the past year we have expanded the Rapid Response Network to be a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week, 365 days a year multilingual hotline." said Avantika Shastri, Senior Supervising Attorney for the Immigrant Legal Defense Programs.

Without a lawyer, many undocumented immigrants often get deported quickly.

Maena Tula had an attorney with her during her deportation hearing and won her case. That allowed her to stay. She says that gave her the opportunity to study at City College and she is now a certified therapist working with children with autism.

Last year, California approved 45 million in its budget to also expand legal services for immigrants throughout the state.
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