The Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in the separation of over 2,500 children from their parents. Today, the Board of Supervisors passed an urgent action, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to immediately provide legal representation to separated children in the greater Los Angles area through the County’s contribution to the L.A. Justice Fund.
“Los Angeles County has not stood idly by as this Administration abuses children and their parents who are simply trying to escape poverty and violence,” said Supervisor Solis, who led the effort at the County to create and support the LA Justice Fund. “Family separation is cruel and a grave injustice for the more than 2,300 children who were physically torn away from their parents. Along with our partners, the County responded quickly to ensure that the L.A. Justice Fund would help provide legal services to this most vulnerable population. L.A. County will always stand with immigrants and asylum seekers.”
“No one in this country, let alone a small child, should be forced to defend themselves in court alone,” said LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “LA County has already voiced its strong opposition to the policy separating families at the border, and with this action today we can do our part to help these children as they navigate the court system to be reunited with their families.”
According to the most recent information from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, 104 children who were separated from their parents are currently in Los Angeles County or the greater Los Angeles area. No separated child is currently in the custody or care of the County of Los Angeles. Through the L.A. Justice Fund, many children will now have immediate access to free legal representation through the County’s $3 million contribution.
The L.A. Justice Fund is a unique public-private partnership between Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation and the Weingart Foundation. The Fund aims to prioritize the most vulnerable populations in the immigrant community — including separated children, other immigrant children, and victims of sex trafficking. Through the Fund, grantee organizations are able to address these immigrants’ most pressing needs by hiring more immigration lawyers and strengthening their organizations’ removal defense programs. To date, the Fund has awarded $7,450,000 to 17 local nonprofit legal service providers.
Today’s motion marks the 28th immigration motion Supervisor Solis has authored to protect, defend, and fight for the rights of immigrants since the 2016 presidential election. Her efforts include a motion to create sensitive locations throughout the County and the creation of the first-ever County Office of Immigrant Affairs. To view a complete list of these actions, please click here.
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