Multi-Million Dollar L.A. Justice Fund Opens Application Process to Legal Nonprofit Organizations

July 10, 2017

Expected to fund legal representation for immigrants against recently heightened federal deportation efforts

LOS ANGELES – July 10, 2017 – The L.A. Justice Fund, an innovative multi-million dollar fund to expand legal representation for immigrants, opened the application process today to nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering the immigrant community with access to legal services. The L.A. Justice Fund is a partnership between Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the Weingart Foundation, and the California Community Foundation (CCF).

The L.A. Justice Fund will offer one- and two-year grants that will arm legal nonprofit organizations with the additional resources they need to defend more Angelenos who are at risk of being separated from their families. The L.A. Justice Fund aims to reinforce a safety net that is pro-family, pro-economic growth and pro-civil and human rights.

In L.A. County alone, nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants live with the daily anxiety of deportation and thousands lack legal representation. Representation matters: studies have shown immigrants who have lawyers are more likely to be released from detention and to succeed in challenges to their deportation, with many obtaining permanent relief.

“Unfortunately, too many in our immigrant populations are unable to afford legal representation,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “With increased immigration enforcement by the federal government and the rollback of essential programs like DACA and DAPA, we must act now. It is more important than ever before to ensure that our immigrant communities have legal assistance to support them in navigating the often tricky legal system.”

“In Los Angeles, the values of compassion, love and acceptance guide us each and every day, and that’s why generations of immigrants have come here to make a better life for themselves and their families,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The L.A. Justice Fund will expand access to due process for our most vulnerable populations, helping to keep families and communities together. While we address this immediate need, I hope this administration will focus its attention to a comprehensive immigration reform, the long term solution Americans deserve.”

One in three Los Angeles County residents are foreign-born. Many immigrant families have resided in Los Angeles for generations, established deep roots and have made important economic contributions. Los Angeles immigrants represent 43 percent of the County’s workforce and more than half are self-employed entrepreneurs. In 2014, these Angelenos contributed $232.9 billion to the County’s total GDP and paid $7.9 billion in state and local taxes.

“Strengthening immigrant communities is part of the California Community Foundation’s long history of working to support the inclusion of all people in the civic and economic fabric of Los Angeles,” said California Community Foundation President and CEO, Antonia Hernández. “Los Angeles’ growth and success is inextricably linked and dependent upon the strength of our immigrant community.”

“It is urgently important that we come together to support Los Angeles’ immigrant communities and to safeguard our values of diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Fred Ali, President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation. “We applaud the City and the County for leading this groundbreaking public-private partnership. Working together, we will be able to get dollars out to the families that need it now.”

“With so much fear in our immigrant communities, this partnership is crucial,” said Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney. “We’ve grappled with the consequences of that anxiety first-hand—when we battle unscrupulous notarios to whom desperate immigrants turn to legalize their status; when our Victim’s Assistance Program struggles to persuade immigrant crime victims to seek the help to which they’re entitled; when our Neighborhood Prosecutors strive to convince terrified parents to continue to cooperate in addressing local public safety issues. The L.A. Justice Fund will be a key safety net to whom vulnerable Angelenos can reach out for help.”

The L.A. Justice Fund partners recognize the immigration system has been broken for decades, leaving families, workers, businesses and communities to live with the consequences of federal inaction. Ultimately, only comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level can address their uncertain status.

The California Community Foundation will administer the Fund on behalf of the L.A. Justice Fund partners. The review and selection of nonprofits is based on eligibility criteria set by the County and the City. Proposals will be reviewed and selected so that nonprofit legal services providers can begin to enhance and expand legal representation by the fall of this year.

For more information about the request for proposal process and timeline, please visit the California Community Foundation website.

The L.A. Justice Fund continues to raise money for this fund. Please donate here.

Roshin Mathew
rmathew [@] calfund [.] org
(213) 377 – 5630