The fight for undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities continues to be an ongoing battle in the United States with California at the forefront of the charge.
Sacramento recently proposed legislation that could potentially start paying for the legal defense of undocumented immigrants. Sacramento is one of a few cities in the U.S. classified as a "sanctuary city".
The city has long been recognized as a diverse community, forming 22 percent of the work force in the region, according to the City Council.
City officials are meeting Thursday to discuss the "Legislative Platform and Programmatic Support for Immigrant and Refugees in the City of Sacramento". They're hoping to pass a resolution that would authorize up to $300,000 from available funds.
So, what exactly are the available funds?
The available fund balance is coming from the "General Fund" in the 2017-18 fiscal year in a grant to the Sacramento Family Unity, Educations, and Legal Network for Immigrations (FUEL Network).
The General Fund is the largest fund in the city and is supported by revenue from property tax, business operations tax and sales tax, according to the city.
A proposed budget for the General Fund was released April 24, identifying a $20.5 million "projected" end balance for 2017-18 in which $300,000 of the financial projections would be allocated to the FUEL Network.
Currently, the funding request is a one-time funding but will be presented to the Council next year for evaluation.
With the allocation request up to $300,000, the funds haven been broken down into different parts in what it will do for undocumented immigrants, according to City of Sacramento agenda material.
1. Legal and support services
This will cover salary, personnel benefits, malpractice insurance, bar association membership dues, malpractice insurance and a few other incidental costs.
2. Two grants to various Sacramento area schools, churches, synagogues, CBO's and other government agencies
The first grant for the city agencies will deliver a total of 35 Know Your Rights presentations, while the other will help provide 218 families with Family Preparedness assistance.
Another grant will provide translation and interpretation services for people, served by FUEL Network, in any service areas which includes consultations, background checks, full scope representation in affirmative applications for immigration relief and etc.
3. Grant offering psychological and mental health counseling
Sacramento CBO's will provide counseling services for victims of crime who are being represented by a pro bono panel in their applications for affirmative, victim based immigration relief.
All of the above will be under the $300,000 financial consideration.
The material being presented also states that the City Manager, or his designee, will negotiate the appropriate allocations for the respective services and execute a contract to provide those services.
During the budget hearings, a revised version of the General Fund will be presented.
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