Gov. Jerry Brown has earmarked an extra $15 million in the California budget to expand legal defense services for people battling deportation.
The one-time cash infusion would boost the state government's financial aid for those in the country illegally to $33 million. Immigrant rights groups and lawyers hailed the increased funding, saying it's a sign the state is committed to protecting families.
The Los Angeles Times said Sunday that the move could be interpreted as a response to the Trump administration's broadened immigration enforcement orders.
Improving legal defense for immigrants has been a significant part of a legislative package proposed by Democrats. Among the proposals is a $14 million request to provide legal training, written materials, mentoring and technical assistance to county public defenders on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.