L.A. Legal Fund Aims to Help Immigrants Facing Deportation, Draws Criticism Over Who Deserves Representation

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Protesters gathered outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration on April 11, 2017. The ACLU of Southern California and other groups want broad access to a proposed taxpayer-funded legal program. (Credit: Dakota Smith / Los Angeles Times)

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Fearing mass deportations under President Trump, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Hilda Solis stood together in December to unveil a $10-million fund to hire lawyers to defend local immigrants without legal status.

Modeled after programs in other cities, the L.A. Justice Fund will use city and county money and private donations to help those facing deportation proceedings.

But a proposal to bar immigrants with violent criminal convictions from using the fund is sparking protests from immigration advocacy groups, legal organizations and others in Los Angeles who argue that everyone has the right to an attorney.

The disagreement over who deserves legal representation is the latest issue to divide political leaders and progressive groups.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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