Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund

The city of Denver is enriched by the different talents, work, and culture of all of its residents. Immigrants, their families, and families of mixed immigration statuses are under increasing threat of potential removal from this country and the Denver community.

Legal status is the biggest obstacle to adapting into the U.S. for immigrants, but access to and the price of legal representation is significantly challenging. Responding to federal executive orders, the Denver City Council passed the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities act and Mayor Michael B. Hancock signed Executive Order 142, starting the Denver Immigrant Legal Defense Fund. Committees developed the necessary structure for over four months, and in December 2017, submitted their recommendations to the Mayor and the Executive Committee.

For information on how to apply click here.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Denver's Immigrant Legal Services Fund?

The fund awards grants to nonprofit organizations to provide representation for qualified individuals threatened with or in removal proceedings.

 

Why do we need a Legal Services Fund?

At its core, providing representation to immigrants in removal proceedings is not about who deserves to stay or be deported, it is about bringing fairness to complex immigration proceedings that pit immigrants against experienced government attorneys, and tear communities and families apart.

Legal defense should not be for only those who can afford it

Immigrants are over 10 times more likely to be able to stay in the country when they have representation

Deportation proceedings are the only legal proceedings in the United States where people are detained without access to legal representation

 

What's at stake in Denver?

The federal government’s latest immigration orders have created disruption in our community.

Mass deportations cost our community valuable resources – we lose vital tax revenue, local industries are disrupted, schools become crisis centers and children who are separated from their parents end up in foster care.

It is up to us at the local level to minimize that disruption by finding efficient, effective and humane solutions.

Fair representation and due process will help reduce fear and take care of our community. Whether a person should have legal representation is about guarantying fairness and due process. It is a separate issue from whether someone should be deported.

  • The Denver Metro Area is among the 20 U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest populations of undocumented immigrants. (PEW)
  • About 15% of Denver residents are immigrants, that’s over 100,000 residents (New American Economy)
  • Immigrants paid $781.4 Million in taxes in Denver and possessed 2.4 billion in purchasing power (New American Economy)

 

Who qualifies to receive legal defense services?

  • Individuals subject to actual or potential immigration removal proceedings and/or who are subject to a final order of removal
  • Denver residents (To be considered a resident an individual has to be able to verify their presence in the City and County of Denver for at least 60 days)
  • Individuals who have a household income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

 

Who will select the nonprofits that will do this work?

The Denver Foundation and an advisory committee, will chose the nonprofit organizations who will provide direct services to individuals.

 

Who is funding this initiative?

Anyone can donate to the fund, which will consist of both public and private dollars.  The fund has received $385,000 in contributions from the City, the Mayor (in his individual capacity), the Vera Institute of Justice SAFE Cities Network, The Denver Foundation, and the Rose Community Foundation.

 

What is the timeline for the fund?

The fund has been established, and contributions are being accepted. Nonprofits are able to apply until October 3rd. Individuals apply to specific organizations.

 

Why should the city government use taxpayer money for this purpose?

Our community is safest when all our neighbors trust their officials and institutions, and know everyone will be treated with dignity and fairness.

 

Denver’s immigrants contribute greatly to the economic and cultural makeup of Denver’s community.  Providing representation to immigrants in removal proceedings is not about who deserves to stay or be deported.  The fairest and most efficient way to bring order to these complex proceedings is to ensure legal representation for those whose future may well depend on it.

 

Where can I find more information?

Please visit The Denver Foundation website at http://www.denverfoundation.org/Nonprofits/Grants-What-We-Fund/Other-Grant-Programs/Immigrant-Legal-Services-Fund for additional information. Julie Voyles, Senior Special Funds Officer at The Denver Foundation, is also available to answer questions and may be reached at jvoyles@denverfoundation.org.

Please direct all media inquiries to Laura Bond, Director of Communications at The Denver Foundation, lbond@denverfoundation.org

 

How can I contribute?

Donations of any amount are welcome.  Please either visit The Denver Foundation web portal: (https://denverfoundation.org/donor-services/make-a-gift/ ) or send a check made out to Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund and mail to the following address:

The Denver Foundation
1009 Grant Street

Denver, CO 80203

 

 

 

 

Current Grant Recipients

Colorado Asylum Center https://www.coasylum.org/

1888 Sherman St, Ste 200

Denver, Colorado 80203

 

International Rescue Committee https://www.rescue.org/united-states/denver-co

1873 S. Bellaire St. 5th Floor

Denver, CO 80222

 720-507-7031

 

Catholic Charities Denver https://ccdenver.org/immigration-services/
6240 Smith Road
Denver, CO 80216
303-742-0828

 

The Center for Trauma & Resilience http://traumahealth.org/programs/mi-gente-vawa-legal-solutions/
P.O. Box 18975
Denver, CO 80218
(303) 894-8000 (English)
(303) 718-8289 (Español)

 

Justice & Mercy Legal Aid Clinic https://jamlac.org/
913 North Wyandot

Denver, CO 80204
303-839-1008

 

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains https://www.lfsrm.org/programs-and-services/refugees/
1600 Downing St, Suite 600
Denver, CO 80218
303-980-5400

 

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) https://www.rmian.org/
7301 Federal Blvd., Suite 300
Westminster, CO 80030
(303) 433-2812