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Nearly $50 Million for Immigrant Legal Services Part of Approved California State Budget

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Migrant rights protesters demonstrate outside the Hall of Justice against the use of state police resources for federal immigration enforcement and deportation in Los Angeles on March 22, 2017. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

California state lawmakers approved $45 million in a state budget plan to expand legal services for immigrants, a response to the Trump administration’s call to increase deportations.

The funds, greater than what Gov. Jerry Brown earmarked in May and which will be an ongoing allocation through 2020, will go to a coalition of legal services agencies, immigrant rights groups and faith-based organizations called One California.

The $30-million legal assistance program, run by the state Department of Social Services, was first assembled to help thousands of immigrants apply for naturalization and former President Obama’s deferred action programs. With the additional money, providers will now also be able to help immigrants fighting deportation or removal proceedings.

In a statement, the coalition called it a modest and reasonable investment to bolster much needed relief services.

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