On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to spend $2.1 million over the next two years so that illegal immigrants in the city can have lawyers for fast-tracked deportation proceedings, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Over 2,000 juveniles or parents with children are waiting for those proceedings.
The Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, analyzing information gleaned from courts, asserted that more than 25,000 deportation proceedings are waiting to be processed in San Francisco. By the beginning of July, 4,100 involved juveniles, 2,200 of whom have no lawyers. The university added that in recent years, 10% of illegal immigrant children without legal representation were given permission to stay in the United States, while 50% of those who had lawyers wound up staying legally.
Supervisor David Campos, who moved to the United States illegally from Guatemala when he was 14, and wrote the $2.1 million budget, told the Chronicle, “We in San Francisco believe in due process and we’re not going to turn our backs on these kids. This happened because of the very compelling stories that these kids shared, so it’s ultimately their victory.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he was content with the money being spent as long as it was parceled out as needed, rather than simply giving it all away immediately. He said, “Let’s make sure we spend it the right way. In other words, make these lawyers do their billing hours for us.”