Immigrants from all corners of the world contribute to the Bay Area’s economic, cultural and social landscape in countless ways. But many immigrants face a legal labyrinth that makes it difficult and daunting to live, work or find a long-term safe haven in our community.
As part of SVCF’s strategic focus to address the need for affordable, high-quality legal services for Bay Area immigrants, SVCF recently awarded $1.03 million to eight Bay Area organizations. These nonprofits help immigrants navigate everything from online immigration procedures to the requirements for those seeking asylum.
“More than a third of Silicon Valley residents are immigrants, and an even higher percentage —two-thirds — of those under 18 are the children of immigrants,” said Navin Moul, SVCF’s program officer for immigration. “These nonprofits enable large numbers of immigrants to obtain legal status which helps lead to increased educational opportunities and fuller participation in community life, thereby strengthening our region’s wealth and vitality.”
Grants approved by SVCF’s board of directors include:
- $408,000 to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center to support the Collaborative for Immigration Services on the Peninsula (CRISP) to continue providing immigration legal assistance and related policy and advocacy efforts in support of immigrant children and families.
- $374,250 to Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to advance the capacity of South Bay Legal Immigration Services Network (SBLISN), a collaborative of organizations in Santa Clara County providing immigrant legal services.
- $40,000 to Pangea Legal Services to implement the South Bay Access to Counsel Project providing high-quality legal representation to detained and non-detained immigrants in court proceedings.
SVCF’s grants to support legal services infrastructure comports with its overall immigration grantmaking strategy, which focuses on supporting quality legal services for immigrants, as well as helping immigrant adults learn English to increase their ability to succeed in the workforce.
Approximately 15,000 immigrants received assistance with legal services through SVCF grantees in 2015. With these eight grants, SVCF’s total investment in legal services infrastructure is about $6.5 million since 2009.