Nadeau Introduces Bill to Provide Immigration Legal Services in DC
Posted on January 24, 2017 at 10:35 AM
Washington – Today, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced legislation to provide immigration legal services for the District’s documented and undocumented immigrant residents. Nadeau announced the legislation late last week at a speech at Georgetown University where she was joined by immigrant rights organizations, direct service non-profits, and student advocates and called for a long-term approach to immigration rights.
“I am proud that the District is known to be a sanctuary city. When we hold ourselves out as a safe harbor for vulnerable populations, we must recognize that this is a continuing commitment,” said Councilmember Nadeau. “I applaud the Mayor for taking quick action and look forward to moving this effort forward in the Council.”
Local nonprofit leader Abel Nuñez, Executive Director of the Central American Resource Center, provided context for the announced legislation, speaking on the issue from a historical perspective, and also offered a reflection on how to move forward as advocates for our most vulnerable: “Immigrants are our neighbors, our children’s classmates at school; we greet them in church and on the street. We must be empathetic and intentional about building relationships across racial, ethnic, economic, and geographic lines.”
The District is uniquely vulnerable to federal intervention. With the recent inauguration, and in light of recent Congressional acts telegraphing their intent to interfere, it is imperative to bolster the legal protections that already make our country great.
The Access to Justice for Immigrants Amendment Act of 2017 expands the District’s Access to Justice grant funding by providing additional funding through the DC Bar Foundation for immigrant legal services to the District’s underserved and low-income documented and undocumented residents. The program created by the legislation will be funded in the upcoming Council budget.
“I am fortunate to have the most diverse constituency in the District,” said Councilmember Nadeau. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that the rights of all are protected and the District stands firm in defense of its values.”
The full text of the legislation, the Access to Justice for Immigrants Amendment Act of 2017, is available at this link. It is co-introduced by Councilmembers David Grosso and Robert C. White, Jr and is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Vincent Gray and Anita Bonds.
About Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau
In her many years of service to the community, Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) has brought perspectives from a career that spans the non-profit, public and private sectors. She is committed to strengthening our schools, increasing affordable housing and promoting government transparency and the highest ethical standards. She serves as the Chair of the Council’s Human Services Committee. Follow her on Twitter @brianneknadeau or at Facebook.com/brianneknadeau.
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