Two government councils in the state of Washington approved funding Monday to assist illegal aliens in defending themselves in immigration court.
The Seattle City Council approved a measure to set aside $1 million for a legal defense fund to benefit illegal aliens who are facing deportation by the federal government.
The Metropolitan King County Council voted to earmark $750,000 for immigrant and refugee programs, with $300,000 being dedicated to the defense of people with cases in immigration court.
Monies from the city and county will be distributed to nonprofit organizations such as the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Council members in both areas claim that local immigrant families need the assistance due to President Trump’s plan to enforce federal laws and likely increase deportations.
Living illegally in the United States is a civil violation, rather than a criminal one. Since cases in immigration court are civil proceedings, those who cannot afford an attorney for their cases are not guaranteed a public defender.
According to Councilmember M. Lorena González, who proposed the Seattle fund with Councilmember Tim Burgess, more than one-third of illegal aliens with immigration-court cases in Seattle and more than 90 percent of those with cases in Tacoma do not have legal representation.
Burgess contended on Monday that everyone should be allowed due process, including illegal aliens facing potential deportation.
According to The Seattle Times, the city has set up a separate fund of $250,000 “to help immigrants and refugees navigate life under Trump, with a focus on children in the city’s public schools.”
The funding to assist illegals in their immigration court cases is expected to be approved by Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine.
H/T: The Seattle Times
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