SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle’s mayor and two councilmembers plan to create a $1 million legal defense fund to help immigrants and refugees.
Mayor Ed Murray and councilmembers Lorena González and Tim Burgess said Thursday that the fund would support Seattle residents and workers with limited financial resources who are facing civil proceedings in immigration court.
The fund would be structured like a grant. Community-based organizations could apply for funds to hire lawyers and legal staff to help immigrants facing trial.
Unlike traditional courts, people in immigration proceedings don’t have the right to an attorney.
Thirty-five percent of people appearing at the Seattle immigration court don’t have lawyers and 92 percent at the Tacoma immigration court are unrepresented.
Council will consider the $1 million allocation for the Legal Defense Fund on April 12.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.