A Texas county approved over $2 million of taxpayer money for a legal services fund for illegal immigrants facing deportation, The Texan reported Wednesday.
The Harris County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to allocate $2,050,000 over two years to the Immigrant Legal Services Fund, an initiative of County Judge Lina Hidalgo, according to The Texan.
Hidalgo, a Democrat, requested $500,000 to finance the program for its first year when she proposed it in February 2019.
Illegal immigrants without attorneys are deported 90 percent of the time, while those with attorneys are deported around 5 percent of the time, according to Hidalgo.
“So it just means that people who have a valid claim to be here and who of course contribute significantly to our economy are being deported not because they should, but simply because they don’t have the ability to present their valid claim,” Hidalgo said.
The county will hire a full-time assistant director of immigration to develop plans supporting immigrants, according to The Texan.
Despite state law banning local sanctuary policies, Harris County has refused its assistance in enforcing immigration laws, according to The Texan.
The Harris County sheriff opted out of a program to help deputies identify suspects with deportation orders.
Over 25 percent of residents in the county are foreign-born and around 412,000 are estimated to be illegal immigrants, according to Hidalgo.
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