LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With just one more month before Donald Trump becomes president, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the creation of what he calls the “L.A. Justice Fund.”
“We’re saying that the good and law abiding immigrants of Los Angeles, our family members, our friends, our neighbors, they belong here, and we will fight for them,” Garcetti said.
It’s a $10 million legal defense fund that will pay for the representation for immigrants if they ever face deportation proceedings.
Garcetti said the funds will be gathered in the following manner:
- $2 million from the city
- $3 million from L.A. County
- $5 million from philanthropic groups
“This is just another step in a long-term strategy that will reinforce the safety net for our county’s immigrants,” L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said.
Supporters of the fund estimate thousands of L.A. immigrants could face deportation proceedings.
But critics of the justice fund, like Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says government shouldn’t spend money of Angelenos on this.
“The government officials seem more than prepared to take money that they don’t have to provide for other services and use it to provide defenses for people who are fighting deportation.” Mehlman said via Facetime.
But the mayor says the city can and will pay to help keep some immigrants in L.A.
“Our system says any person in a court deserves due process,” Garcetti said. “That’s not politics, that’s a foundational constitutional right.”
Garcetti says the city’s money will come from its general fund and Solis will present the county proposal to its board of supervisors Tuesday.