Legal aid is on the way for immigrants in Denver who might be deported.
A city-organized legal defense fund — announced this week by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on the steps of City Hall under a large “Denver loves immigrants” banner — will launch with an initial $385,000 in its coffers. Hancock initially established the fund over the summer through executive order. The Denver Foundation will administer the fund, distributing grants to non-profit organizations providing legal representation to Denverites.
“Denver’s immigrant community plays a vital role in our city,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. ”This fund will further our ability to meet a core mission – to preserve and protect families and children living in Denver.”
A mixture of revenue sources will fund the beginnings of the legal defense fund including $200,000 from the city’s general fund; $5,000 from the Denver Foundation; and $30,000 from the Rose Community Foundation. The fund will also receive an infusion from a $100,000 Vera Institute Safety & Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Cities Network catalyst grant. Hancock has also put out a call to the business community for help supporting the fund.
The fund will also aid those seeking protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. An Obama-era program, DACA protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children often referred to as dreamers from deportation. President Donald Trump said he would pull the plug on DACA in March, but court rulings have sustained the program.
Over the summer, Denver passed the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, articulating its policy of not cooperating with federal authorities in immigration enforcement.