The Secure Families Collaborative to Provide Deportation Defense to County’s Immigrant Communities
Santa Rosa, CA – February 13, 2019 – The Sonoma County Secure Families Fund is proud to announce the launch of the Secure Families Collaborative, a network of non-profit organizations established to provide pro bono immigration and other legal assistance to immigrant families in Sonoma County.
“Sonoma County is home to approximately 35,000 undocumented immigrants, who live daily in fear of being separated from their families,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairman, David Rabbitt. “It is crucial that every resident of Sonoma County has an opportunity to access legal aid so as not to break up families.”
The Sonoma County Secure Families Fund is hosted by the Community Foundation Sonoma County and was created in 2017 to raise $2 million to support the provision and coordination of low-cost, high-quality immigration legal services countywide over 3 years.
In November 2018, the Sonoma County Secure Families Fund awarded $550,000 dollars to support year one of the Sonoma County Secure Families Collaborative formed by Catholic Charities, Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS), Legal Aid of Sonoma County, and the University of San Francisco Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. These partners form a powerful network of experienced, successful organizations to meet the Fund’s goals to increase local capacity to provide removal defense immigration legal services as well as to ensure better and closer cooperation between local immigration and other legal service providers.
“We are proud to be part of this collaborative to provide the much needed help our undocumented families seek right now, “said VIDAS Executive Director, Margaret Flores McCabe. “This is an opportunity to change the lives of those immigrants who work, live, and enhance the culture of Sonoma County.”
Currently, the Collaborative has three immigration attorneys on board and one experienced paralegal providing pro bono deportation defense services, and will continue hiring qualified professionals to nurture the network and fundraise approximately $1.2 million over the next two years.