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Mayor Bowser Announces $2.5 Million Available for FY 2020 Immigrant Justice Legal Services Grant Program

Friday, July 12, 2019

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced that her Administration is making a total of $2.5 million available through the Fiscal Year 2020 Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant program to community and private organizations that offer legal services and programs to immigrants living in Washington, DC. Since launching the program in 2017, the Mayor has more than doubled the District’s investment in the program.

“This fund is one way we can work with trusted community partners to push back against the fear and intimidation that the Trump Administration is creating in our immigrant communities,” said Mayor Bowser. “Regardless of immigration status, immigrants in DC are our neighbors, coworkers, small business owners, family members, and valued members of our community, and we will continue working together to provide the supports and opportunities that every person in our city deserves.”

The funding will be made available to fund programs that provide targeted services and resources to the DC immigrant population and their family members. Grants of up to $400,000 will be awarded to organizations with a current and valid 501(c)(3) status, as well as private organizations, associations, and law firms that plan to mobilize pro bono legal professionals to provide immigrant justice legal services.

The IJLS grants will support a variety of services and projects, including:

  • Know Your Rights workshops;
  • legal representation, legal consultations, and legal preparedness;
  • filing applications for S, T, U, Special Immigrant Juvenile visas and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, or other petitions;
  • providing legal help for family reunification efforts for families with at least one DC resident such as through spousal visas, or adult children sponsoring their parents;
  • filing asylum applications and providing legal representation;
  • filing lawsuits that may become necessary to challenge federal practices or interpretations of immigration law that violate the rights of immigrants;
  • helping DC residents file for Temporary Protected Status, or find replacement visas if TPS is threatened; and
  • providing culturally-competent language access services, offering an interpretation of legal documents and on legal matters, across a broad range of languages spoken by immigrants in Washington, DC.

Mayor Bowser’s IJLS program is a national model for providing legal services that relate to immigrant justice and assisting residents on the pathway to citizenship. The program has a broad focus, touching a wide range of Washingtonians – torture survivors, DACA recipients, and survivors of domestic violence, Dreamers, TPS holders, and others who want a chance to become citizens.

More information regarding eligibility criteria, acceptable grant purposes, pre-bidders’ conferences, and the deadline for submission is included in the Request for Applications (RFA), which will be posted on moca.dc.gov. Additional information will also be available through the Mayor’s Office on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs, Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuance and the District’s Grant Clearinghouse.