SVCF public policy update: California budget provides funding for expanded immigration legal services

More than 1,400 immigrants attended a citizenship day event sponsored by SVCF grantee organizations in April.

In March, SVCF's board voted unanimously to give its fullest support to California Senate Bill 6, the Due Process for All Act, which was designed to expand legal services for immigrants in California facing deportation from the United States.

We are happy to say that the intent of the bill will be carried out, and approximately $45 million in funding will be provided for immigration services, including deportation relief!

This funding was secured when Governor Jerry Brown on June 27 signed AB 97, the 2017 Budget Act, and two accompanying trailer bills, AB 105 and SB 89. The funding originally sought under Senate Bill 6, which was introduced by State Senator Ben Hueso, is now being provided as part of these budget bills signed by the governor.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is proud and grateful that the State of California has – with this newly approved budget – dedicated resources to ensuring that immigrants threatened with removal from the United States will have greater access to legal services. Over the past few months, SVCF supported this effort actively – we lobbied legislators, launched a communication campaign and engaged our community partners, our donor community and elected officials.

SVCF strongly believes that immigrant communities are part of our social fabric and fundamental to the economic vibrancy and prosperity of our region. More than one third of the 2.5 million residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are immigrants and more than two thirds of those younger than 18 are children of immigrants. Immigrant integration has been a key strategy of our grantmaking and advocacy work, and our commitment to supporting legal services has never wavered.

Since 2008, SVCF has invested more than $6 million in programs that strengthen the legal services infrastructure in our region to ensure that affordable and reliable legal services are available to immigrants. In 2009, SVCF provided seed funding for two immigrant legal services collaboratives that are now the most recognized and trusted in the region: the South Bay Legal and Immigration Services Network (SBLISN) and Collaborative Resources for Immigrant Services on the Peninsula (CRISP). More than 40,000 immigrants have received affordable, high-quality legal services through these collaboratives.

Additionally, SVCF earlier this year established the Opportunity for All Fund to address the immediate need for information, resources and high-quality affordable legal services for immigrants in Silicon Valley.

Together with our partners, we are strengthening legal services for immigrants across the state. We are grateful to all who have worked with us on this recent effort and over the years – to our donors, nonprofit, corporate and government partners, thank you!

Read more about SVCF’s Opportunity for All Fund.