Boston’s Immigrant Defense Fund Reaches $1 Million
By Stephanie Wittenbach 11/3/17
In accordance with the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund, the city has collected $1 million in donations that will help support 10 organizations that protect and defend the 28 percent of immigrants who make up Boston’s population, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) have joined together to ensure legal services and community outreach are provided by the 10 organizations chosen.
According to Lonnie Powers, executive director of MLAC, “The Immigrant Defense Fund gives concrete recognition to the overwhelming need for civil legal assistance in communities affected by policy changes at the federal level.” He added, this will provide community education and support to immigrants who need to improve their lives in the America and especially, the city of Boston.
Immigrants in the community contribute not only culturally, but socially and economically. They make up roughly a quarter of the work output in Suffolk County. Executive Director of Centro Presente, Patricia Montes said, “Making sure that our communities know their rights as immigrants, as workers and as human beings who contribute to this society is critical at moments such as these.”
The legal service providers include, Greater Boston Legal Services, PAIR Project, MetroWest Legal Services, Northeast Legal Aid, and Southeast Coastal Counties Legal Services. For community organizations, the funds partnered with, Brazilian Workers Center, Catholic Social Services of Fall River, Centro Presente, Chelsea Collaborative, and Essex County Community Organization. With all of the legal services and programs from the million-dollar fund, the leaders hope to expand to more organizations in the near future.