(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that her Administration is making a total of $2.5 million available through the Fiscal Year 2021 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, which has become a national model for protecting the rights of immigrants.
“The IJLS program represents of our unwavering commitment to upholding our DC values and protecting the rights of our immigrant neighbors in the face of threats and intimidation,” said Mayor Bowser. “As a proud sanctuary city, this investment to partner with local organizations helps provide peace of mind to the immigrant communities that strengthen the District’s diversity and prosperity.”
The funding will support programs that provide targeted services and resources to the DC immigrant population and their family members. The IJLS program offers one-time grants of up to $400,000 to CBOs with a current and valid 501(c)(3) status, as well as private organizations, associations, and law firms that plan to mobilize pro bono talent or skilled immigration attorneys and legal professionals to provide immigrant justice legal services.
The IJLS grants will support a variety of activities and services, including:
- Know Your Rights briefings and workshops;
- brief and full legal representations;
- filing applications for S, T, U, Special Immigrant Juvenile visas and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or petitions for D.C. residents or family members of D.C. residents;
- providing legal help for family reunification efforts for families with at least one D.C. resident such as through spousal visas, or adult children sponsoring their parents;
- providing legal representation services in some instances to low-income D.C. immigrant tenants in residential landlord-tenant disputes, but not to use in litigation where the Government of the District of Columbia is a named party;
- organizing and conducting Full legal campaigns to protect temporary protected status (TPS) holders;
- 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.
The grant program targets immigrants of all ages who reside in Washington, DC and families of mixed immigration status with at least one family member in the District.