San Francisco Closer to Paying $2 Million for Immigration Lawyers

Lawyers may soon be available to immigrant children arriving in San Francisco without their papers and without their parents -- free of charge.

San Francisco may soon provide up to $2.4 million over a two-year period to pay for immigration attorneys for some of the Central American children arriving in the United States as refugees, according to reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Board of Supervisors could soon sign off on the above proposal, which would be money pulled from the city's $58 million "general reserve."

Supervisor David Campos, himself a former illegal immigrant from Guatemala, said that paying for legal defense is the least the city can do after a harrowing journey across the border.

There may be as many as 2,100 cases at Immigration Court this year where the would-be American residents will not have an attorney present, the newspaper reported.

Providing legal defense for all those cases would cost about $6.2 million, the newspaper reported.

There are at least 4,100 juveniles in deportation proceedings in San Francisco.

If the money is approved by the Board of Supervisors, Mayor Ed Lee must still approve the money to be spent.

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