The Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund, part of the Delivering on the Dream (DOTD) national funding network, is a public-private partnership and funder collaborative that works to increase access to legal services and increase education to defend immigrant communities, refugees, and temporary status holders.
The GBDIF was launched in 2017 by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and a group of foundations as a two-year pilot program, awarding more than $1.1 million to legal services providers and nonprofit community partners.
The Fund is committed to building Greater Boston’s capacity to protect and defend immigrant and refugee communities by increasing access to the following critical resources and services:
• Legal representation for individuals facing deportation proceedings in Immigration Court who cannot afford a lawyer
• Community education and preparedness programming such as Know Your Rights trainings, legal screenings and referrals, etc.
Greater Boston is home to more than 800,000 immigrant and refugee residents, including an estimated 180,000 individuals without immigration status who may need deportation defense. Collectively, they contribute to the economic vitality and vibrant cultural fabric of our communities.
To jump start the third year of the Fund, Mayor Walsh’s FY20 Proposed Budget includes $50,000 in city funds dedicated to the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund.
On June 6, 2019, The Boston Foundation hosted this presentation and panel discussion on the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund’s new report: “The Growing Wave of Federal Immigration Restrictions: What’s at Stake for Massachusetts?” (The presentation starts at the 20:25 mark).