Mayor Marty Walsh says his budget supports immigrant defense fund

Mayor Martin J. Walsh  presents his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) operating budget to the Boston City Council at City Hall in Boston, MA on April 10, 2019.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh presents his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) operating budget to the Boston City Council at City Hall in Boston, MA on April 10, 2019. –Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s including money in his budget proposal for a legal defense fund for immigrants.

The Democratic mayor said Saturday his proposal includes $50,000 in city funding for the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund.

The fund is a public-private partnership that works to increase access to legal representation for people facing deportation proceedings and educate the community about their rights.

Walsh launched the fund in 2017 with the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. Boston residents make up the largest percentage of cases opened among the 27 municipalities served by the defense fund.

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The two-year pilot program was supposed to end in December 2019.

Walsh says the new funding would jumpstart a third year by paying for counsel for about 30 cases.

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