Columbus Creates Legal-Defense Fund to Help Immigrants

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s capital city is setting aside money to support legal help for immigrants facing deportation.

Columbus City Council voted Monday to provide $185,000 for three groups that will help immigrants and their families. The Columbus Dispatch reports that a national nonprofit policy organization, the Vera Institute of Justice, will provide $100,000 more.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown has been pushing for the funding this year.

The nonprofit Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. will receive the biggest share, over $157,000. Brown says it will be used to educate detained immigrants on their rights and to represent people from Columbus facing deportation.

Brown says the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Catholic Social Services’ Our Lady of Guadalupe Center will gets smaller grants supporting efforts to educate immigrants about their rights and responsibilities.