San Francisco will become the first city in California to provide funding to help immigrants facing deportation obtain an attorney, officials announced Wednesday.
The City's $100,000 will go to the nonprofit Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, which will use it to provide free legal representation for immigrants living in the country illegally, said Supervisor David Chiu, who created the program. The legal services could total in the millions of dollars, he said.
The initiative is an expansion of The City's Right to Civil Counsel program that had focused on tenants facing evictions, said Chiu, adding that legal support for children and families fleeing escalating violence in Central America is crucial.
San Francisco has long had a sanctuary-city law, which aims to provide refuge for illegal immigrants, he said.
“We needed to do something. In San Francisco, we are a city that has always stood up for and known that our immigrant families make us successful as a city and as a country,” said Chiu.