D.C. has legal aid for immigrants, but the city doesn’t use tax dollars to help undocumented ones that are detained

Unlike other cities that have created immigrant defense funds since Trump took office, Washington does not use tax dollars to help undocumented adults once they are detained by federal authorities and face deportation.

News Story (District of Columbia)

Marissa J. Lang, Fenit Nirappil
Washington Post
August 26, 2018

Tags: Deportation

Organizations mentioned/involved: Vera Institute of Justice, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)


Some advocates say those cases need the most help, and D.C. Council members set aside $400,000 in this year’s budget to do just that. But the Bowser administration redirected that money into its grants program for immigrant legal services, which drew 23 applications for $900,000 in grants to be awarded next month.

Aides to Bowser say the program was already on precarious ground because of attention from Republicans in Congress, which has veto power over the District’s laws and spending. By not funding the legal defense of detained immigrants, the city eliminated the most contentious issue, they said.