- In December 2016, Mayor Garcetti was joined by other government officials and philanthropic leaders to announce the creation of the L.A. Justice Fund (LAJF). The L.A. Justice Fund is a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation, the Weingart Foundation and the California Endowment.
- In June 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to move forward with a plan to contribute $3 million over the next two years to the L.A. Justice Fund.
- On November 27, 2017, the LAJF awarded $7.45 million to 17 LA-based nonprofit legal service providers.
- The L.A. Justice Fund’s mission is to increase access to legal representation and counsel individuals and families dealing with deportation proceedings and detention in Los Angeles County.
- People who are in imminent danger of deportation, with community ties, heads of households with dependent family members, veterans, DACA recipients and others who came to the U.S. as children, victims of crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking, and asylum seekers.
- Individuals must be residents of the city or county of Los Angeles with household incomes below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level.
WHO DOESN’T QUALIFY?
- Immigrants convicted of certain crimes, such as violent felonies, human trafficking, child abuse, domestic violence, or pimping, will generally not be eligible to receive legal representation under the LAJF.
I NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE, AND AM NOT A VICTIM OF A CRIME OR AT IMMINENT RISK OF DEPORTATION. CAN LAJF HELP ME?
- The LAJF has limited resources available to provide representation. Given this situation, cases were prioritized to receive support: those facing imminent deportation and currently in federal detention, must have long-standing ties to the United States, heads of household, veterans, immigrant youth and DACA recipients, and particularly vulnerable populations, including those seeking political asylum and victims of crimes, trafficking, and domestic violence.
- Please provide a list of nonprofit legal agencies to the consumer for possible assistance such as Neighborhood Legal Services, Public Counsel or contact LA County Bar Association.
HOW CAN I ACCESS LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE LA JUSTICE FUND?
- The LAJF will not be directly providing legal representation. As previously mentioned, the LAJF increased funding to 17 LA-based nonprofit legal service providers to expand their legal representation to immigrants in removal proceedings and in federal detention. Each provider will develop their own procedures for reviewing individual cases and determine who to serve based on rigorous guidelines.
WHO WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO PROVIDE LEGAL ASSISTANCE?
- Organizations with experience serving the Los Angeles immigrant population must have a proven track-record of providing legal services to immigrants. Only nonprofit agencies and nonprofit legal service providers are eligible to apply for LAJF.
- Nonprofit agencies and legal service providers must demonstrate that they already offered legal services to immigrants or are receiving or received a federal or state contract or subcontract to provide immigrants with legal representation.
WHAT TYPE OF SERVICES WILL THE LA JUSTICE FUND SUPPORT?
- The LAJF will support two categories of activities: (1) direct legal representation; (2) building removal defense capacity among legal service providers and through pro-bono coordination and low-bono (discounted rate in under-represented communities) partnerships.
WHAT IS MEANT BY “BUILDING REMOVAL DEFENSE CAPACITY”?
- This means that funding from the LA Justice Fund will enable organizations that provide some immigration legal services (e.g. citizenship) to expand their capacity so that they can offer direct representation to detained immigrants and other vulnerable individuals in removal proceedings.
HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THAT FUNDING WILL ONLY BE USED TO SERVE THE SELECTED POPULATION?
- All grantees will be required to regularly report on how they are using funding, including information on populations that are receiving legal representation. If grantees are not meeting requirements, the LAJF reserves the right to terminate the grant.