Council schedules hearing on deportation legal assistance funding

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The County Council has scheduled a public hearing on a special appropriation that would provide funding for legal assistance to “Residents Detained for Deportation Proceedings,” according to a press release.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. on the proposal to appropriate $374,957 from the general fund’s undesignated reserve.

The special appropriation was introduced April 17 and, if approved, would go to the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition to represent low-income county residents in deportation proceedings. 

“Across the U.S., we have heard accounts of residents being put into detention and deported who own homes, run their own businesses and have employees who rely upon them, and are forced to leave their families behind, including children who in many cases are citizens,” said Council President Hans Riemer (D-At Large) in a release. “This is our county’s attempt to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to protect their rights and ensure they are aware and able to assert any options that they have under the law.”

The coalition estimated that there would be between 85 and 90 detained individuals who will receive legal services. The coalition would not be able to use the funds to represent anyone who has a final criminal conviction for certain serious felonies.

The hearing will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Those interested in testifying can start signing up on Thursday, April 19 online or by calling 240.777.7803. The deadline to sign up is May 1 at 10 a.m.

The council staff report on the special appropriation is available here.