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Mayor Bowser Celebrates National Citizenship Day by Awarding Funds to Organizations Committed to Protecting Immigrant Residents in the District

Friday, September 16, 2022

Today, in honor of National Citizenship Day on September 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted her commitment to protecting immigrant residents’ rights by announcing the recipients of the eighth round of Immigrant Justice Legal Service Grant (IJLS) funding. In her Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Fair Shot Budget, Mayor Bowser allocated $3.5 million to the IJLS program, once again highlighting the District’s commitment to advancing the legal security of immigrant residents.

“Over the years, the IJLS program has not only benefitted DC’s immigrant residents, it has also helped us advance our DC values and strengthened the capacity of legal services providers and pro bono attorneys,” said Mayor Bowser. “Having a lawyer can make the difference between having legal status and living in the shadows, and I am incredibly grateful for the community organizations who have worked with us to make the IJLS program a success.”  
Since its launch in early 2017, the IJLS program has become a national model for advancing legal protections for immigrants and the program has steadily grown from a $500,000 program to $3.5 million program, with 25 grants in FY 2023 up from 23 grants in FY 2022 and nine grants at the outset. The program complements other community grant programs run by the various constituent services offices and the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. The IJLS program benefits green card holders, torture survivors, survivors of domestic violence, asylum seekers, Dreamers, persons seeking Temporary Protective Status or renewing their TPS status, community members who want to become American citizens, residents detained by the federal immigration authorities, people wishing to make emergency preparedness plans with their families, and others.

The following organizations and their programs will receive IJLS grants in FY23:

Three organizations are first-time IJLS grantees: Mil Mujeres; the Nigerian Center; and the Renaissance Center for Culture and Education.


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