(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Bowser announced that her Administration will provide Immigrant Justice Legal Services (IJLS) grant funding to 22 community-based programs that offer legal services for immigrants in Washington, DC. Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget increased her Administration’s IJLS funding by $1.6 million, for a total investment of $2.5 million for FY20. For the first time, the IJLS grant program will assist residents who are in removal proceedings but are not detained for serious criminal offenses.
“Washington, DC remains committed to protecting our residents, and this year’s expanded investment allows us to partner with more community organizations to assist residents with a wide range of issues,” said Mayor Bowser. “The IJLS grant program advances our DC values as a proud sanctuary city as we continue to help hundreds of Washingtonians become US citizens.”
The IJLS grant program offers legal services and resources to immigrant residents and their family members, and the program complements other community grant programs run by the various constituent service offices and the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants.
For FY19 grantees reported a return rate of 100 percent. For FY20, the amount awarded will be $2,387,750, and will be allocated to six new grantees in addition to the existing fifteen community-based organizations. Ayuda has two grant programs awarded and will provide language access services to all grantees for their IJLS work.
The following organizations and programs will receive renewed funding for FY20:
- Ayuda: Consultation and Representation Expansion Program
- Ayuda: Community Legal Interpreter Bank
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington: Immigration Legal Services
- Whitman-Walker Health De Colores Legal Access Initiative
- Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International: TASSC Legal Services Program
- Briya Public Charter School: Immigration Legal Services and Education for the Briya Public Charter School Community
- KIND Inc.: Unaccompanied Immigrant and Refugee Children: Access to Justice and Protection in Washington, DC
- Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia: Immigrants’ Rights Legal Services Project
- Asylum Seeker Assistance Project
- Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
- African Communities Together (ACT)
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute
- DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: Relief: Representation & Legal Advocacy for Immigrant Families
- Trabajadores Unidos de Washington DC: Adult Workers Immigration Legal Services Resources Project
- Human Rights First: Legal Services for Asylum Seekers in Washington, DC
- Latin American Youth Center: LAYC Immigrant Justice Program
New direct grantees funded for FY20:
- Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition: DC Detained Immigrant Representation Program
- DC Affordable Law Firm: DC Comprehensive Immigration Legal Services Project
- Casa Ruby: Immigrant Justice Legal Services
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: USCRI DC Children’s Legal Services
- Rising for Justice (formerly DC Law Students in Court): Immigrant Defense Program
Mayor Bowser’s IJLS program also assists residents by offering know your rights workshops. The program targets – but it is not limited – to Green Card holders, DACA recipients, torture survivors, and survivors of domestic violence, Dreamers, TPS holders, and community members who want a chance to become citizens in the USA, especially persons from Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.