Today, in participating in the US Conference of Mayors' Cities Day of Immigration Action, Mayor Bowser announced that her Administration will extend Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant funding to ten organizations in Washington, DC. In January, Mayor Bowser announced that the DC Government would provide up to $500,000 to community-based organizations, private organizations, associations, and law firms that do legal work for immigrants in Washington, DC.
“DC Values did not change on Election Day. The Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant program is one way that my Administration can help support DC’s immigrant community,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District is safer and stronger when residents know and understand their rights, and these ten organizations will help spread the message that our city has their back.”
After a thorough review of all project proposals, the Bowser Administration will extend funding to the following organizations:
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.
- Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
- Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International
- Briya Public Charter School
- Whitman-Walker Health: DeColores
- Human Rights First
- KIND Inc.
- Asian/Pacific Island Domestic Violence Resource Project
- DC Affordable law Firm D.C. Immigrants’ Rights Project, which will work in partnership with the Ethiopian Community Center and Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area
The ten organizations will be offered a total of $500,000. In the coming weeks, the Administration will finalize grant agreements with the ten awardees, and funds are expected to be released near the end of April.
The funding will support projects that serve DC residents and their family members in numerous ways. Examples of funded projects include:
- helping torture survivors and lesbian, gay, and transgender persons – all of whom fear persecution in their home countries – apply for asylum;
- providing guidance and legal assistance to DC parents as they work to obtain visas or convert green cards to citizenship;
- representing unaccompanied minors in family and immigration court; and
- empowering new Washingtonians to escape domestic abuse by guiding them through Violence Against Women Act petitions.
Mayor Bowser’s IJLS program is the first of its kind in Washington, DC, and, while similar programs exist in other parts of the nation, DC’s program has a broader focus on conducting “know your rights” legal briefings and trainings and on helping people navigate affirmative filings and asylum applications.