Mayor Hancock and Partners Announce $377,000 in Grants from Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund

Mayor Hancock and Partners Announce $377,000 in Grants from Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund

JAMLAC is thrilled to share that we were awarded $95,500 to expand our immigration work for victims and juveniles through this Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund. See the press release below.

Although, we had budgeted for this grant, it is more than expected, so we are excited that we can continue to grow our efforts to serve more families in need. 

Praise God!

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018

First round goes to four organizations to provide access to legal representation for qualified individuals in immigration detention, facing deportation and seeking citizenship or asylum as well as DACA renewals

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, The Denver Foundation and the Vera Institute today announced the first $377,000 in grants from the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund. The grants will provide access to legal representation for qualified individuals in immigration detention and facing deportation and those seeking assistance in such areas as citizenship and asylum-seeking or renewals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“In Denver, we believe in due process for all people residing in this city, and that all residents enrich our work, culture and way of life” Mayor Hancock said. “This first round of grants will help ensure that individuals who work hard and contribute to our economy and our community have access to their rights and to justice.”

“This year, many witnessed firsthand how broken our immigration system is – children detained at the border, residents less likely to report crime, threats to our communities, and a feeling of helplessness,” said Councilman Paul López, who championed the creation of the fund. “Our Immigrant Legal Services Fund will uphold and protect due process and keep families together.”

The Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund was created through Mayor Hancock’s Executive Order 142, which he signed on August 19, 2017. The fund provides access to legal representation for indigent individuals threatened with or in removal proceedings and is an important tool to help the city build and sustain a diverse, equitable and economically successful community.

The 2018 fund grantees are:

• Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network – Direct legal support to detained immigrant adults
• Mile High Ministries – Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Center – Representation to low-income immigrants with removal defense and affirmative applications
• Lutheran Family Services – Affirmative relief including legal consultations for DACA renewals
• University of Denver, Sturm College of Law – Capacity building for direct legal representation through an Immigration Justice Project law clinic

In developing the Denver Legal Services Fund, the City & County of Denver applied for and received a $100,000 grant from the Vera Institute to join the Safety & Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network and to match the public investment for immigrants detained and facing deportation.

“Lack of a lawyer should not be the only thing preventing Denver residents from staying with their family, job and community,” said Annie Chen, program director for the Vera Institute of Justice’s SAFE Network. “We’re proud to partner with Denver as the latest city of the SAFE Network, recognizing the city’s national leadership in the growing movement to ensure due process and a fair day in court for all.”

The Vera Institute launched the SAFE Network in 2017, a network of 12 local jurisdictions around the country all dedicating taxpayer dollars to deportation defense programs, with a focus on those in detention. Vera provides one-time “catalyst” funds and expert assistance to jurisdictions and conducts research on the impact of the program on clients, families, and the local economy.

“The Denver Foundation is honored to partner with the City and County of Denver to address this urgent need, and to help immigrants in our community access high-quality legal representation,” said Dace West, The Denver Foundation’s Vice President of Community Impact.

While this distribution of funding will make a significant difference in the lives of several residents in need of both removal defense and affirmative relief, there remain hundreds, if not thousands, facing family separation and complex legal processes without representation. To contribute to the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund, please go here.