Seattle officials propose $1M legal defense fund for immigrants


The latest arenas for the city of Seattle’s multi-front resistance to the Trump administration are likely to be immigration courts in Seattle and Tacoma.

Two City Council members, with backing from Mayor Ed Murray, said Thursday they want to use $1 million in city money to establish a legal defense fund to help the Emerald City’s immigrants and refugees.

“Each of our friends, neighbors and family members who go to immigration court deserve to be accompanied by someone who understands their case,” said Councilwoman M. Lorena Gonzalez, proposing the fund with council colleague Tim Burgess.

The fund will be taken up on April 12 at the council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee.  (Yes, that’s actually its name.)

Help would be structured as a grant, and community-based organizations would apply for money to hire immigration attorneys, legal staff and “legal navigators” to aid immigrants facing trial and removal from the United States.

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